49ers

Tom Brady to Bucs reminds of Bay Area legends who swapped jerseys late

Tom Brady to Bucs reminds of Bay Area legends who swapped jerseys late

For two decades, Tom Brady has put on a New England Patriots uniform and come running out of the tunnel at either Gillette Stadium or the old Foxboro Stadium. But that won't be the case in 2020. 

Brady announced Tuesday that he would not be returning to the Patriots and reportedly plans to sign a deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. When news of TB12 to TB broke, social media went crazy with the thought of seeing Brady wearing ... well, whatever jersey the Bucs plan to wear. 

No creamsicle photoshop? Come on, guys. 

Brady, of course, is just the latest sports legend to don a new jersey at the tail end of his career. Michael Jordan, of course, played for the Washington Wizards. Johnny Unitas played for the San Diego Chargers and so forth. 

The Bay Area has seen a number of its legends wear new uniforms. From Willie Mays playing for the New York Mets to Tim Lincecum the ... Los Angeles Angel? No, that one wasn't a fever dream. Let's run through a few of the times Bay Area legends wore new uniforms and made the region pass out or throw up. 

In May of 1972, with the GIants bleeding money, then owner Horace Stoneham traded The Say Hey Kid to the Mets, who guaranteed Mays a pension and coaching positions post-retirement. 

Yeah, that seems wrong. 

Before Brady was (arguably) the GOAT, Joe Montana held the title after winning four Super Bowl titles with the 49ers. But he finished his career not in the Bay Area, but rather playing at the House of Loud known as Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City for the Chiefs. 

Another GOAT who roamed Candlestick winning titles for the Red and Gold also ended his career in different colors. After 16 seasons with the 49ers, Jerry Rice spent four years with the Raiders and one with the Seahawks. 

Raiders legend Tim Brown finished his career with the Buccaneers after 16 seasons in silver and black. Here he is with Jerry Rice the Raider. 

Back on the diamond, the Giants had three fan favorites go elsewhere and it still doesn't feel right. 

Juan Marichal played one season for both the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers to end his career. 

Speaking of Giants turned Dodgers, Brian Wilson's LA jersey is one you'll spot every year at Coachella. 

Oof. 

While both those are odd, nothing compares to the sight of Lincecum as an LA Angel.

Almost makes your skin crawl, doesn't it?

Let's not forget Ronnie Lott once played for the Jets. 

Ken Stabler will forever be a Raiders legend, but The Snake's twilight was spent in Houston with the Oilers and New Orleans Saints. 

Rick Barry was a Rocket at one point in time, too. 

[RELATED: Report: Why Brady chose Bucs over Raiders, Chargers]

I did this exercise to say one thing: I'll absolutely be purchasing a Tom Brady retro Bucs jersey. 

How could you not? It'll be all the rage at Sasquatch 2021. 

This stat shows 49ers star George Kittle's receiving, blocking mastery

This stat shows 49ers star George Kittle's receiving, blocking mastery

George Kittle is a one-of-a-kind tight end, and one stat from football analytics site Pro Football Focus is the latest indication why.

The 49ers star has been, in PFF's estimation, one of just two tight ends since 2018 to rank among the best at his position in receiving and run-blocking.

Kittle's 2,430 receiving yards over the last two seasons are second-best at his position behind Kansas City Chiefs counterpart Travis Kelce, and the Iowa product's per-game average of 81 yards actually topped Kelce. The 26-year-old also set the single-season record for receiving yards by a tight end (1,377) in 2018, even as quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was sidelined for all but four games with a torn ACL. 

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

But the 49ers recognize Kittle is much more than a playmaker, equally valuing his contributions to the team's dominant running game.

“I mean, he had more yards in the pass game as a tight end in the history of the NFL last year,” coach Kyle Shanahan said in January (H/T Jennifer Lee Chan). “So, any time you have a guy like that who's one of the best players on your team who's always just talking about running the ball and playing the physicality in the game and giving everything you can, it helps you hold everyone else a lot more accountable, and rarely do you have to."

While Kittle's skills make him a complete tight end, he reportedly doesn't want to be paid like one. NFL Media's Mike Silver said Friday on "NFL Total Access" that Kittle's agent, Jack Bechta, "[doesn't] care about the tight-end market" in contract-extension negotiations with the 49ers and thinks his client's new deal should reflect Kittle's unique, all-purpose value. 

"I'm being paid to do a George Kittle deal," Silver recalled Bechta saying.

The 49ers and Kittle aren't "close at all" on a new deal as a result, according to Silver.

[RELATED: 49ers' Jimmy G absorbs Montana's wisdom about winning]

There's still plenty of time for the 49ers and Kittle to reach an agreement, as he's entering the final year of his rookie deal. The 49ers, of course, can also use the franchise tag on him heading into the 2021 season.

If the two sides are going to reach a long-term deal, it sure seems like Kittle wants his receiving and blocking contributions reflected in it.

49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo absorbs Joe Montana's wisdom about winning

49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo absorbs Joe Montana's wisdom about winning

Throughout NFL history, of quarterbacks to start at least 100 career games, only Tom Brady (.773) and Roger Staubach (.746) have posted better regular-season winning percentages than 49ers legend Joe Montana (.713). So, when it comes to knowing the secrets to victory, he's a pretty good source of advice.

Montana won 117 of his 164 career regular-season starts, precisely 100 victories of which came with San Francisco. On Wednesday, he posted a photo on Instagram from the final one of those wins with the 49ers, in which he offered up a secret to his success.

"Winners, I am convinced, imagine their dreams first," Montana wrote. "They want it with all their heart and expect it to come true. There is, I believe, no other way to live."
As of the time of this writing, that post had received 15,685 likes, one of which came from another 49ers quarterback who happens to have a knack for winning as well -- Jimmy Garoppolo.

[RELATED: Where Jimmy G, Carr rank among NFL starting quarterbacks]

Jimmy G, of course, displayed his penchant for winning immediately upon joining the 49ers, winning his first five starts after San Francisco acquired him midway through the 2017 season. Across 24 regular-season starts with the 49ers, he has posted a 19-5 record (.792). Not to mention, he arguably was one missed completion away from winning Super Bowl LIV.

Garoppolo might have his own secrets to his success, but it certainly can't hurt if he picks up a thing or two from Joe Cool.

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