Before landing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020 NFL free agency, Tom Brady was rumored to have mutual interest in joining the San Francisco 49ers, who were fresh off a Super Bowl appearance with his former New England Patriots backup, Jimmy Garoppolo. Appearing on "The Rich Eisen Show" Tuesday, Niners general manager John Lynch confirmed San Francisco considered pursuing Brady this offseason -- before quickly deciding the team still believes in Garoppolo.
"The truth of the matter, 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 discussion," Lynch told Eisen. "And then you hear rumors that, hey, he'd like to come home, that kind of thing. So of course Kyle (Shanahan) and I have discussions.
"We're always into getting better, so you always look at everything, especially a situation like that. But within a day or two, Kyle and I looked at each other and said, 'You know what, we really like what we have in Jimmy.' We love everything that he brings and we really believe it's a long-term answer. I would tell you we're more convicted than ever about who our quarterback is in Jimmy Garoppolo."
It's anyone's guess as to whether the Niners' embrace of Garoppolo had anything to do with Brady's own decisions in free agency. Reports indicated fairly early that the longtime Patriots star had narrowed his choice to between the Buccaneers and Los Angeles Chargers, so it's possible No. 12 simply didn't have as much mutual interest in playing for the 49ers as was speculated.
If you ask Lynch, though, the Niners made their own choice in sticking with Garoppolo, who spent three-plus years behind Brady in New England before coming to San Francisco via trade in 2017.
"All I know is the guy wins football games," he told Eisen, adding that he and Shanahan informed Garoppolo of their Brady conversations. "I think his best football is ahead of him ... We're as committed to him as ever."