Tom Brady to the 49ers is a rumor that has floated around for a few years now. It was reported that the team had a chance to sign him in 2020 but decided to pass. However, the rumor of a hometown reunion is floating around once again. If the possibility arises next off-season, should the 49ers look to bring in the greatest of all time on his last leg or stick with developing Trey Lance like they verbally committed to?
What A Tom Brady-Led 49ers Could Look Like
The 49ers have built a roster good enough to the point where if they are healthy you can expect to see them making a deep playoff run. They are even able to do so with mediocre quarterback play due to the talent surrounding the QB position. For Tom Brady, he has won seven Super Bowls with one of them being his first season in Tampa Bay in 2020, the year the 49ers reportedly could have had him.
Last year while the 49ers made it to the NFC title game against the Rams and lost, the Buccaneers also played the Rams and lost on the final possession of the game after an admirable comeback. Needless to say, the 49ers and Bucs were both contenders last year and potentially could have faced each other had Tampa Bay not suffered so many injuries going into their playoff matchup with Los Angeles.
This season, the 49ers and Bucs have struggled in the early portion of the season. The Niners have struggled with consistency on offense and the Bucs simply have no running game and seem solely reliant on Tom Brady to win them games offensively. This plays a big part in why Brady has not looked very good. But take a trip down memory lane when Tom Brady looked like he was hitting a steep decline during his final year in New England. As it turned out, he just had a lack of weapons. Could that be the same case this year?
The 49ers do not have a shortage of offensive weapons. Imagine this Niners offense with Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, Christian McCaffrey, George Kittle, Trent Williams, Elijah Mitchell, an ascending Aaron Banks and Kyle Shanahan calling plays with Tom Brady leading that squad. Sounds like any coach’s dream. With that potential offensive lineup along with the elite defense that has been built in San Francisco, the Niners would likely be the Super Bowl favorites next season.
Brady would get to also ride off into the sunset playing for his childhood team and being closer to his parents. He could complete his career as the hometown hero and look to complete the quest for six for the 49ers in what would likely be his final season should he choose to play one more year. It sounds like a match made in heaven. However, there is a predicament here should Brady decide to play next year.
What Would Signing Tom Brady Mean For Trey Lance’s Development?
The 49ers traded multiple first-round picks to draft Trey Lance who won’t be cleared to play again until his third season due to his injury suffered. in Week Two this season. With not much football played the last few years, Lance desperately needs game reps to improve on a week-to-week basis so the Niners can get their return on investment. If San Francisco were to sign Tom Brady, that would mean Lance’s development would be put on the back burner until his fourth season in the NFL.
It is true, he could have the chance to sit behind the greatest of all time and pick his brain for a year, but Lance still needs to be on the field to get established. Tom Brady, if he did come to the Niners, would be a short-term upgrade. Trey Lance would still be the future. With the success the 49ers have had with Jimmy Garoppolo who has a career total of four touchdown passes and six interceptions in the playoffs, is it crazy to think Lance can’t win with this team as well?
If The Option Is Available, Should The 49ers Go For Tom Brady Or Stay Committed To Trey Lance In 2023?
“If you’ve got this championship roster, do you put it in Trey Lance’s hands if Tom Brady knocks on the door?” Breer said.
The difference here is Tom Brady gives you a lot more confidence that he can win your team a game while with Trey Lance you still don’t exactly know what you have. That being said, this is a team that can win without elite QB play. Plugging in elite QB play to this offense would likely result in a Super Bowl barring injury.
That is the kicker though. You never know what will happen in the NFL and nothing is guaranteed. What if the 49ers signed Tom Brady but had an injury-riddled season like in 2020? It would be a waste if Tom Brady played for the team in a scenario like that instead of giving Lance the game reps to develop for the future. Brady in red and gold would mean 2023 is a Super Bowl or bust season. That kind of pressure shouldn’t apply to the team with Trey Lance, however, they could very well be contenders.
One aspect that surprisingly gets forgotten is the fact that Tom Brady is in his mid-40s. How long will he be able to keep playing at a high level? It would be a very tricky situation to navigate. Had Trey Lance been going into year two, or if he was never drafted and the goal was just to replace Jimmy Garoppolo then this would be an easy decision.
This is all hypothetical, but Breer seems to believe it is a possibility. If Tom Brady does play next season, should the 49ers bring him and go all in for 2023?