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.
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.