have Tom Brady really hung around in the NFL all this time just to one day play for San Francisco 49ers? If ever there was a year to play for his favorite childhood team, the 2023 season could be the year when all the stars align between Ninoers and one of Joe Montanabiggest fans. Adam Schefter reported Monday that Brock Purdy suffered a torn UCL in his pitching elbow during San Fran NFC Championship Game loss according to Philadelphia Eagles. The opinion of the team medical staff is that he does not need surgery. Purdy asks second opinion.
Injuries in the 49ers QB room
Next season, the 49ers will have two running backs on the roster who will be returning from serious injuries. One was the final pick in the previous NFL draft — Purdy. It’s the second one Trey Lancetheir 2021 first-round pick who has undergone two surgeries since breaking his leg in Week 2. Jimmy Garoppolo was San Francisco starter for most of this season after the team originally didn’t want him back. He will be a free agent and is still recovering from a broken foot.
The 49ers’ roster has been championship-caliber since 2019. They’ve played in three of the last four NFC Championship games, and the one they missed during the 2020 season was due to a series of injuries they couldn’t overcome. Throughout this run with Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch in charge of the 49ers, brought in stars at every position except quarterback. Lynch took over as CEO in 2017, they did not meet againsign Colin Kaepernickand decided at least two years ago that Garoppolo was not the answer.
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Could Tom Brady be the answer, even though he’s 45 years old?
NFL championship windows can sometimes close abruptly and unexpectedly. Brady struggled last season both professionally and personallybut the Buccaneers’ the offensive line was below par and they couldn’t handle the ball. Put Brady behind one of the best offensive attacks of all time along with a dynamic rushing attack and one of the best defenses in the NFL, and maybe this iteration of the 49ers can finally get the job done. The Bay Area kid could bring home the franchise’s first championship after his senior year of high school.
On the other hand, Brady turns 46 this summer. In 2019, the 49ers considered signing Brady after he left the New England Patriots, but here’s Lynch’s exact quote: “We really like what we have in Jimmy. We love everything he brings and we really believe it’s for the long term answer.”
That was after the 49ers blew a double-digit lead over the Chiefs in the Super Bowl. A year later, the 49ers traded their 2022 and 2023 first-round picks to select Trey Lance. In the only season in which he spent the offseason preparing as a starter, he played in the first week of the monsoon and broke his leg in the first half of the week 2 game.
If the 49ers were interested in Brady, the time to bring him in was 2019. Yes, that would probably mean they’re out against Garoppolo, but he played a total of six games the following season and then his replacement was selected. There’s a ton of draft capital tied up in Lance now, and Brady is three years older, and he’s also shown an unwillingness to take a penalty in his pocket, especially as the season has progressed. The 49ers want to win the Super Bowl. Brady will have to eat up some ground at critical times to make that happen.
The story of a local kid returning home to lead the storied franchise back to glory would be the perfect end to Brady’s career, and frankly the only on-field accomplishment he hasn’t accomplished. But it’s not worth it for the 49ers. It’s not worth the money and going into another year not knowing what they have in Lance.
Brady’s return to the Bay is a great story, but one the 49ers need to make sure remains a “what if,” forever.