Legends like Tom Brady don’t come around often. In fact, they come around pretty much only once in a generation. Every sport has them. Think Michael Jordan, Ronaldo…heck, even Babe Ruth. To think that the 49ers could have had him as QB for their team and passed, is certainly shocking to say the least.
As crazy as it sounds, it’s true though. Seth Wickersham, of ESPN chronicled the events of the San Francisco team having the legendary Tom Brady in their grasp, but astonishingly choosing to let him slip by in his book. It now seems like such a travesty, but believe it or not, at the time, it seems like someone actually thought this was a good idea.
“(Brady) reached out to Wes Welker, who was now the 49ers’ receivers coach, and let him know that if San Francisco was interested, it would be his choice—no free-agency tour, no bidding war, full stop; he would end his career where his love of football began, in scarlet and gold, allowing his parents to drive to games for the first time since the 1990s.
“But then, almost as fast as the 49ers’ interest in Brady rose, it died. The coaches liked Brady’s film—but didn’t love it. He was better than Garoppolo, they thought, but not that much better—not so much that it was worth trading away a locker-room leader, not to mention one who was nearly 15 years younger and coming off a Super Bowl appearance. A few days before free agency began, the 49ers decided to stick with their guy. This time, Garoppolo won.”
It’s been two years since he signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and it’s undoubtedly been a rather good two years. They won the Super Bowl last year of course and this year, they’ve only lost a single game. Brady is performing like any other prodigious talent would.
The only question that remains is, now that we know the details of how the 49ers had a golden opportunity and passed on it, do they regret it? Are they kicking themselves repeatedly? It must be stated that Jimmy Garoppolo is not an acquisition to be sour about though. He is a two-time former Super Bowl champion and is doing well in his role.
What’s your take on this story? Sound off in the comments!