John Lynch Acknowledges 49ers Had ‘Internal Discussions’ About Signing Tom Brady

Jesse Pantuosco
April 22, 2020 - 10:55 am

How close was Tom Brady to donning 49ers red and white? Apparently not very. The Niners were never truly in the mix for Touchdown Tom this offseason, though GM John Lynch said the Super Bowl runner-ups did entertain the idea for a day or two.

“When you’re talking about one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time with Tom Brady, of course you’re going to have some internal discussions,” Lynch offered Tuesday on The Rich Eisen Show. “But within a day or two, [head coach] Kyle [Shanahan] and I looked at each other and said, ‘You know what, we really like what we have in Jimmy [Garoppolo].’”

And that was all she wrote. Despite the rumors of Brady hoping to finish his storied career with his hometown 49ers, that’s all they were. Heated Niners fans were calling for Jimmy G’s head after tanking in the fourth quarter of San Francisco’s Super Bowl loss to the Chiefs, but the front office never lost faith in its franchise signal-caller. In fact, Lynch came away from the Niners’ brief flirtation with Brady (which barely passed the threshold of “due diligence”) more convinced than ever in Garoppolo’s qualifications.

“We love everything that he brings and we really believe it’s a long-term answer,” said Lynch, putting to rest any lingering doubts about the 28-year-old’s future in the Bay Area. “I would tell you we’re more convinced than ever about who our quarterback is in Jimmy Garoppolo.” It may have ended on a sour note, but before his late-game collapse in Super Bowl LIV, Garoppolo had his best season to date in 2019, finishing among the NFL’s top five in completion percentage (69.1), touchdown passes (27) and yards per attempt (8.4). Maybe most importantly, Garoppolo appeared in all 16 regular-season games, the first time he had done so since arriving as a second-round pick out of Eastern Illinois (alma mater of Cowboys star-turned-CBS-announcer Tony Romo) in 2014.

With San Francisco fully committed to Jimmy G, Brady had to look elsewhere in his free-agent search, eventually settling on Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers have the look of a formidable NFC foe, particularly after coaxing juggernaut tight end Rob Gronkowski out of retirement, but Vegas still sees the Niners as a tough out. Per, only the Chiefs and Ravens have higher Super Bowl odds than the reigning NFC Champs, who are tied with the Bucs at 9-1.

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