NFL rumors: Tom Brady-Jimmy Garoppolo swap not out of the question

NFL rumors: Tom Brady-Jimmy Garoppolo swap not out of the question

The thought of Tom Brady leaving the New England Patriots to join the 49ers seems absurd on its face. You add in the idea that the 49ers could trade Jimmy Garoppolo back to the Patriots and you get something not in the realm of reality.

Right? Right? Not so fast.

The Brady to the 49ers rumors have ramped up over the past few days. Deion Sanders started the fire and then the real rumors started coming in, with NBC Sports Boston Patriots insider saying he believed the interest was "real" on both sides Tuesday.

On Wednesday, The Boston Herald's Karen Guregian kept the fire rolling when she wrote there is "growing speculation" the Brady-Garoppolo swap could happen and that her sources told her Curran "might be onto something."

Brady, 42, still is winning his battle with Father Time, but he will be 43 when next season starts. The end certainly is coming soon.

It makes all the sense in the world for Brady, who wants to win at least one more Super Bowl before walking into the sunset, to look at a team with a dominant defense, a good offensive line, power running game and the best tight end in football and think it would be a good fit for him should he leave New England.

But would the 49ers really ditch Garoppolo after he almost brought them a Super Bowl? 

Never say never. Championship windows open and close fast, and if the 49ers don't believe Garoppolo can get them over the hump then they rightfully should look elsewhere. They could cut Garoppolo before April 1 for just a $4.2 million cap hit. If they trade him, it would open up $22.4 million in salary cap. 

Garoppolo was solid in his first season back from an ACL injury. He did whatever was asked of him. He played game manager and hero, leading the 49ers to the doorstep of a title.

But with Super Bowl LIV on the line, Garoppolo missed his mark, overthrowing Emmanuel Sanders on the would-be game-winning touchdown.

Brady, with his long history of clutch plays, probably puts that throw on the money and the parade down Market Street might still be going on.

That's just what Brady always has done. 

That's not to say Garoppolo can't make the throw or come up big when all the chips are on the table. He showed his clutch gene a number of times last season, but he whiffed under the brightest lights and now the wolves are the gates.

[RELATED: Kittle has Jimmy G's back as Brady rumors swirl]

Brady would no doubt love to come home to the Bay Area and finish his career playing for the team he grew up rooting for. Bill Belichick wouldn't hate getting Garoppolo back and washing his hands of the aging star.

The smart money is on Brady returning to the Patriots and dominating the AFC East yet again, while Garoppolo leads the 49ers on another Super Bowl quest.

But don't count out the possibility of a swap.

It might not be realistic, but there definitely seems to be something to it.

Hue Jackson wanted Browns to sign Colin Kaepernick to contract in 2017

Hue Jackson wanted Browns to sign Colin Kaepernick to contract in 2017

Colin Kaepernick hasn't played in an NFL game since Jan. 1, 2017.

But if former Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson had his way, the quarterback would have played during the 2017 season.

During an interview with ESPN Cleveland on Friday, Jackson was asked about Kaepernick, and revealed that he pushed for the Browns to sign the former 49ers quarterback.

“I wanted him,” Jackson said (H/T The News-Herald). “It just didn’t work out. Obviously, those things do have to work from a finance, draft, whatever all that is. And that wasn’t my decision."

Throughout the 2016 season, Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem to bring attention to racial injustices plaguing the country.

Following the 2016 NFL season, the 49ers hired Kyle Shanahan as their coach and John Lynch as the general manager. They informed Kaepernick that they planned to release him, so he opted out of his contract.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Despite his obvious talents, no team has signed Kaepernick since he became a free agent in 2017. He held a workout at an Atlanta area high school last year, but there were no suitors for his services following the showcase.

Jackson, who coached the Raiders in 2011, also mentioned that Oakland planned to draft Kaepernick in 2011 if the 49ers hadn't taken him in the second round.

“I’ve known Colin," Jackson said. "When I was with the Raiders (2011), we were going to draft him when I was there. So, obviously he’d been a really good player in the league. He had tremendous success."

With protests taking place nationwide over the last two weeks, Jackson believes Kaepernick's original message finally is being heard.

"He is a guy who has stood for something," Jackson said. "I think everybody is seeing exactly where he was coming from … I always thought Colin deserved an opportunity in this league, but he has to want to play. If he really wanted to play, I think he would have a chance again.”

[RELATED: Kap could help these five teams]

Whether or not the Browns were close to signing Kaepernick, he would have been an upgrade over what they had in-house at the time. The 2017 Cleveland team went 0-16 with DeShone Kizer, Kevin Hogan and Cody Kessler seeing time at quarterback. Kizer started 15 games and threw for 2,891 yards and 11 touchdowns, while being intercepted 22 times.

Despite going 1-10 as the 49ers starter in 2016, Kaepernick completed 59.2 percent of his passes for 2,241 yards and 16 touchdowns. He was intercepted just four times.

Would Kaepernick have made the 2017 Browns a playoff team? Probably not, but they most likely would have been better than 0-16.

49ers' George Kittle reveals Trent Brown as ideal WWE tag-team partner

49ers' George Kittle reveals Trent Brown as ideal WWE tag-team partner

49ers tight end George Kittle doesn’t keep his love for wrestling a secret. He joined WWE’s Smackdown during an appearance in San Francisco, and received a personal introduction from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson during Super Bowl week.

When asked who he’d want on his side for a hypothetical tag-team match, Kittle points to a surprising player and former 49ers teammate.

“If I really wanted to win all the time, Trent Brown,” Kittle said on the “Bussin’ With The Boys” podcast. “He’s like 6-foot-7, 350 pounds and he moves like he’s 220. I’d pick him because he’d just pick people up and throw them around.”

[RELATED: Kittle reveals which NFL players are toughest to block]

Brown began his NFL career with the 49ers after being selected in the seventh round of the 2015 draft. He and Kittle shared a locker room for the 2017 season, before Brown was traded to the New England Patriots that offseason.

Brown’s athleticism is shocking, given his size (Kittle actually was slightly off: Brown is listed at 6-8), and he earned his first Pro Bowl nod in 2019 as the Raiders' right tackle. Brown signed a four-year $66 million contract with the team last summer, and is the highest-paid offensive tackle in football.

These two really could do some damage between the ropes.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]