49ers

Chris Long thinks 49ers are only team Tom Brady would leave Patriots for

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Chris Long thinks 49ers are only team Tom Brady would leave Patriots for

Tom Brady is preparing to enter his age 42 season with the New England Patriots, having just signed a two-year, $41 million contract extension.

Brady, however, also put his Brookline, Mass., home on the market, leading many to wonder if this is indeed TB12's last year at Patriot Place. While Brady's contract extension takes him through the 2021 season, the new deal also has a stipulation that the final two years will be voided if not renegotiated by the end of the 2019 league year. That would make Brady a free agent at the end of this season and has those humble Patriots fans worried the six-time Super Bowl champion could bolt town for another team. 

Would Brady really finish his career with a different franchise?

Chris Long, who played with Brady, only can see the legendary quarterback playing for one other team -- the 49ers.

Long is playing guest columnist at Sports Illustrated, and he laid out a wild scenario in which Brady ends up back in the Bay and current 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo returns to 1 Patriot Place. 

"Let’s get even crazier and hypothesize that Tom would like to wear a new uniform at 43 years old," Long writes. "There’s only one place I could see him going -- back to the Bay. And here’s how it happens.

"Let’s say Jimmy G has a modest year (I don’t think he does) and looks like Tannehill 2.0. Next offseason, Brady hits the market and expresses interest in returning home to suit up for the team he adored as a teenager (in 1990). San Francisco releases Garoppolo and he ends up back in New England, where (Belichick) beautifully repurposes what’s perceived as damaged goods."

In Long's scenario, Jimmy G and TB12 finally have the long-awaited master vs. apprentice duel in the Super Bowl, which would be quite the storyline.

[RELATED: Shanahan not blown away by rookie receiver's debuts]

Of course, thinking Brady leaves the Patriots to play for another team feels like a fairy tale. Perhaps he's tired of playing for Bill Belichick, and perhaps he'd rather live in the Bay Area rather than frigid Boston, so he packs his bags for his home area.

Then again, as Patriots fans are quick to remind everyone, why would Tommy leave the greatest sports town and all that winning?

Brady's future once again will be one of the prevailing topics of the NFL season, but it's unlikely the 49ers will play a role.

Jimmy Garoppolo takes ownership for 49ers' lack of completions vs. Seahawks

Jimmy Garoppolo takes ownership for 49ers' lack of completions vs. Seahawks

SANTA CLARA — New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s wife, Gisele Bundchen, had a valid point after Super Bowl XLVI: that it takes two players to complete a pass in football, and even her six-time champion husband can't do it all. 
 
After several dropped passes in the 49ers' 27-24 loss to the Seahawks, San Francisco signal-caller Jimmy Garoppolo echoed the same philosophy but instead, took much more of the onus on himself. 

“Whenever there are drops, it takes the guy throwing the ball and [the guy] catching the ball,” Garoppolo said on Wednesday. “Obviously I could throw it better to make it easier for those guys.”

Garoppolo only completed 24 of his 46 attempts for 248 yards which is just over 52 percent, his lowest completion rate of the season. Even in Week 7 in rainy Washington, where he had a lower rating, he had a slightly higher completion percentage of 57 percent.  

Jimmy G is consistent with every report from the 49ers' locker room over the past three seasons that there is no finger pointing. Rather, it’s a consensus that everyone needs to be better at their job collectively to improve as a team. 

“Those guys work their ass off,” Garoppolo said of his receivers. “They really do. They come in every day with a good mindset and it’s just when your number gets called you have to take advantage of the opportunities because in the league, we all know, you don’t get too many of them, so when you do, you have to take advantage of it.”  

Outside of Emmanuel Sanders, who left the game early with a rib injury, the receiving group in Santa Clara is young. Rookie Deebo Samuel was Garoppolo's top target on Monday night. Marquise Goodwin is the only member of the group that has at least three full seasons worth of experience under his belt. He was only on the field for 10 snaps against the Seahawks. 

Because the group is young, Garoppolo has to find a balance between giving constructive criticism to players and pumping up their confidence after mistakes. 

“There’s a fine line between it,” Garoppolo said. “You want to pick guys up especially after a tough drop or whatever it is but like I said before, it takes a guy to throw the ball and catch the ball to complete a pass. I just got to be more accurate. Make it easier for those guys and help them out.”

[RELATED: Sanders remains 'day to day' for 49ers with ribs still sore

Garoppolo, who spent extra time with Sanders upon his arrival to work on their chemistry, is always willing to do the same with all of his receivers. He is not worried about the offense bouncing back as a group, wide receivers in particular. 

“Obviously the more reps you get, the more practice, the better off you’ll be,” Garoppolo said. “But we’ve been pretty good up until this point. Had a little bit of a fluke in the last game with the drops and everything but you can’t overstress it. Let those guys go play, let them play ball. They are going to make plays, they are good players out there.”  

49ers' Emmanuel Sanders remains sore, 'day to day' with ribs injury

49ers' Emmanuel Sanders remains sore, 'day to day' with ribs injury

SANTA CLARA – Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders envisioned having a big game on Monday night before leaving the game after just 24 snaps due to a rib injury.

“It sucked,” Sanders said on Wednesday. “I wanted to be out there with the guys, especially because I felt like I was going to have a good game. Then, when I got hurt, it sucked.”

Sanders appeared to sustain the injury in the first quarter while making a 12-yard reception. He bent awkwardly and his helmet came off when he was hit by Seahawks safety Bradley McDougald at the end of the play.

The next time Jimmy Garoppolo a pass Sanders’ way, it was low and Sanders immediately grabbed the right side of his chest and ran off the field. He did not come back into the game. Sanders had two catches for 24 yards in his limited action.

[RELATED: 49ers sign DE Moore after placing Blair on season-ending IR]

Sanders declined to reveal the specifics of his injury, but coach Kyle Shanahan said the injury is to Sanders’ rib cartilage. Sanders said he is still sore and described himself as “day to day.”

Sanders was one of several 49ers who were not on the field at the start of Wednesday’s practice and may not be available for Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi's Stadium. The list also includes:

TE George Kittle (knee/ankle)
LT Joe Staley (finger dislocation/fracture)
RB Matt Breida (ankle)
K Robbie Gould (quadriceps)
NT D.J. Jones (groin)
LB Azeez Al-Shaair (concussion)