SANTA CLARA — On the day the 49ers cleaned out their lockers, one veteran contemplated the possibility of Tom Brady becoming a teammate.
“If he wants to play, isn’t this the team he’d want to play for?” the player asked on Tuesday.
One day later, before many folks on the West Coast had even rolled out of bed, Brady ended all speculation: “I’m retiring -- for good.”
Brady's retirement post on social media might not have come to a surprise to a lot of players in the 49ers’ locker room.
After the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first round of the NFC playoffs, players spoke among themselves how in that game Brady looked “disinterested” and “detached.”
The player mused, “Was he just done with that situation (in Tampa), though?”
No, he was done. Period.
Brady’s announcement ends all speculation of the possibility he could end his career in the Bay Area, where he grew up. And it also seems to make the 49ers’ quarterback situation a little more clear.
After all, if the seven-time Super Bowl champion wants to play for your team -- regardless of his age -- you have to listen and seriously discuss.
Brady’s retirement gives coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch one fewer option to consider.
There was no question rookie Brock Purdy played well enough to win the quarterback job. He also won the respect and admiration of his teammates.
There would be some upset players in the locker room if someone other than Purdy were anointed the starting quarterback after what he showed in the second half of the season.
He did everything to earn the job after stepping into the lineup on Dec. 4 to replace Jimmy Garoppolo, who sustained a season-ending fractured foot that day.
From the moment he became the 49ers' quarterback in Week 13, Purdy produced in a big way while doing his part in eight victories during the team’s 12-game win streak.
He completed 141 of 224 pass attempts (63 percent) for 1,877 yards with 16 touchdowns, three interceptions and a passer rating of 107.7 during that stretch.
If there is any uncertainty about the identity of the 49ers’ starting quarterback for the 2023 season, it is more of a health concern at this point.
Purdy sustained a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow in the season-ending loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship Game. He said he is considering all options -- with varying timetables of recovery.
RELATED: 49ers overreactions: Purdy injury worse than loss to Eagles
The injury and expected surgery will almost certainly prevent him from stepping on the field for the 49ers’ offseason program. Third-year player Trey Lance likely is to return to the role as the No. 1 quarterback in the spring when the 49ers reconvene for offseason workouts.
Shanahan must decide how to proceed with the team’s quarterback situation from there.
At least now everybody knows Tom Brady does not factor into the equation.