49ers signing Tom Brady in NFL free agency has significant pros, cons


Frenzy continues to surround Tom Brady.

The free-agent quarterback’s potential departure from the New England Patriots, the team he spent his first 20 NFL seasons with, persists in dominating the 24-hour sports news cycle as pundits far and wide debate the best landing spot for Brady.

Tuesday, that dialogue extended to ESPN’s “Get Up,” which put together a pros and cons list for the quarterback possibly returning to his hometown and playing for the 49ers in 2020.

“Kyle Shanahan has had a top-five offense with three different quarterbacks,” ESPN NFL analyst Dan Orlovsky said. “Three different styles of quarterbacks [in] RG3, Matt Ryan, and Jimmy Garoppolo, so a fantastic play caller and play designer, which, Tom is used to that with Josh McDaniels.”

Brady’s connection with former Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski definitely was part of the signal-caller’s ability to extend his historic career, and San Francisco features a similarly dominant one in All-Pro George Kittle.

“The closest thing we’ve seen to Rob Gronkowski is George Kittle,” Orlovsky said. “Kittle is a physical player that Tom Brady will have a great understanding of how to throw the football to, because he is so representative of the way Rob Gronkowski played.”

Throw one of the league’s top-five defenses on top, and you’ve got a plethora of reasons why Brady should welcome the idea of joining the team he grew up idolizing.

While Orlovsky didn’t see any cons from Brady’s perspective, the Niners certainly would be facing a few. Namely, Brady turns 43 years old in August and due to the salary cap, it would be virtually impossible for San Francisco to keep both Brady and Jimmy G under contract. Especially when you consider that Brady and Garoppolo share the same agent in Don Yee.


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“Right now, you’re in a great situation with a good quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo,” ESPN’s Mike Tannenbaum said. “And if in a year if you bring in Tom Brady, Tom Brady retires, then you have nobody.

“That’s why I think this is very unrealistic.”

Even in spite of his subpar Super Bowl performance, San Francisco clearly has found a franchise quarterback in Jimmy G. To leverage the future of the organization on a 43-year-old who showed noticeable regression a season ago would be an asinine move, but all 49ers fans can do is sit and hope their general manager makes the right decision.