Had Tom Brady not retired last week, the 49ers could have been a potential destination for the seven-time Super Bowl champion.
Retired tight end Rob Gronkowski -- Brady's favorite target with the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers for 11 seasons -- discussed that possibility with NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco and Jennifer Lee Chan at Super Bowl Radio Row in Phoenix.
"I think there's a reasonable spot for Tom wherever he would want to go," Gronkowski said in the "49ers Talk" interview. "He's the greatest quarterback of all time, to get him on your roster and upgrade your whole entire roster in a heartbeat overnight. He has so much knowledge of the game, and his skill set is unbelievable as well. He's the whole package at the quarterback position.
"If he wanted to continue to keep playing, I think, yes, he would have fit right in with any team he decided to go to if he was going to play. And the 49ers, I'm sure they would've opened all doors up for him as well. He's from there, and that would have been a great story, but he already had a great story."
Brady previously announced his retirement around the same time after the 2021 season, only to unretire and play one last season in Tampa Bay. This time around, Gronkowski believes the probable Hall of Famer officially has played his last down of football.
"I think he's done," Gronkowski added. "Let me tell you, he can play until he's 50 years old, there's no doubt about it. If he wanted to play until 50, I believe he could, the way he takes care of his body, his routine, how on top of the game he still is. He can play until he's 50 if he wanted to and be at the top of his game throughout the later stages of his 40s. I think he's done."
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It appears Brady, a Bay Area native who grew up a 49ers fan, will not join his hometown team, as many speculated he could with San Francisco's quarterback situation still up in the air. The 49ers likely will prepare for a Brock Purdy-Trey Lance QB competition -- unless Brady changes his mind again.