Jimmy Garoppolo reflects on 49ers' interest in Tom Brady as 'business'

Jimmy Garoppolo reflects on 49ers' interest in Tom Brady as 'business'

The 49ers considered pursuing a quarterback who is on the shortlist of greatest players in NFL history.

But, ultimately, general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan opted to remain on course with Jimmy Garoppolo.

It might have made for an awkward time, as the 49ers were led to believe Tom Brady, a San Mateo native, wanted to return to the Bay Area and play for the team for which he cheered as a youngster.

Garoppolo spent the first three-and-a-half seasons of his NFL career as Brady’s backup with the New England Patriots.

Lynch and Shanahan were upfront with Garoppolo and gave him a vote of confidence even while they were doing nothing publicly to disclose they were not interested in Brady at the start of the free-agent signing period.

“I think when all that was going on, you hear about it and things like that, but I really wasn't too worried,” Garoppolo said. “I'm always confident in my play and I know what I put out there this season and everything like that.

“So it's all about being confident and it's just part of the business. I've seen both sides of it, so I've been there.”

[RELATEDHow Jimmy G grades his 2019 season that fell just short]

The 49ers acquired Garoppolo in a 2017 midseason trade with the Patriots for a second-round draft pick. After leading the 49ers to a 5-0 finish to end the season, San Francisco signed Garoppolo to a five-year, $137.5 million deal through the 2022 season.

Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed Brady, a six-time Super Bowl champion, to a two-year, $50 million contract earlier this offseason.

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

Ranking offseasons of 49ers, NFC contenders before NFL training camps

Ranking offseasons of 49ers, NFC contenders before NFL training camps

NFL training camps are set to begin in full on July 28, with rookies, quarterbacks and injured players scheduled to arrive in the week leading up to that date.

It remains to be seen if that will occur as planned, as the NFL and NFLPA still have logistical issues to work out regarding safety protocols related to the coronavirus pandemic. But in any case, the offseason has -- for all intents and purposes -- come to an end.

While there are still some interesting names available on the free-agent market that could potentially significantly improve a team if signed, we have a very good idea of the composition of each team's roster heading into camp. Some of those rosters saw major overhauls through trades, the draft and free agency, while others experienced relatively little movement.

Despite all of those transactions, there hasn't been much change in the NFC hierarchy. According to FoxBet, of the eight teams currently with the best odds to win the conference, five had double-digit win totals last season and only one had a losing record.

[RELATED: Simms calls 49ers NFL's best, sees one area for improvement]

Every season, there seems to be a few teams that surprise, and conversely, a few that disappoint. Nonetheless, it would be logical to assume that one of those eight teams ends up representing the NFC in Super Bowl LV. And of those eight, some certainly capitalized on the offseason more than others.


Tim Brown rips Bill Callahan as 'worst thing' to happen to Raiders

Tim Brown rips Bill Callahan as 'worst thing' to happen to Raiders

Tim Brown and Bill Callahan probably won't be making plans to go out the brunch anytime soon.

The Pro Football Hall of Famer has been a vocal critic of his former coach for a long time. He blames Callahan and his last-second game plan change as the reason Pro Bowl center Barret Robbins disappeared prior to Super Bowl XXXVII. As far as Brown is concerned, the Raiders would have been better off if Callahan never coached the Silver and Black.

"I think this guy was probably the worst thing that ever happened to the Raiders organization," Brown said on NBC Sports' Sports Uncovered podcast, which details Robbins' Super Bowl disappearance.

[SPORTS UNCOVERED: Listen to the latest episode]

Callahan's attitude and the way he dealt with players rubbed a number of Raiders the wrong way.

"The way he handled his guys, the way he talked to men, the way he approached, and the lack of respect that he had for men, people had an issue with him," Anthony Dorsett said.

It wasn't just the struggles of a first-year coach, though. Brown says he and other Raiders tried to get Jon Gruden to cut Callahan loose while the latter was offensive coordinator.

"We tried to get Callahan fired in '98 and '99," Brown recalled. "He walked off the field twice. At the middle fourth quarter of games that we should've won, we weren't winning. 'You guys don't want to win here. I don't know why I came here.' Walked off the field. Went to Gruden, Gruden went, 'Hey, guy's emotional, whatever.' Did the same thing in '99. and we went to him again. We said, 'You got to fire this guy. We can't have a coach walk off in the middle of the game on us.' And Gruden wouldn't fire him. So from that standpoint on, we understood that Callahan was in a seperate category."

When Gruden was traded prior to the 2002 season, a number of players went to owner Al Davis to ask him to hire Callahan, believing they were on the cusp of greatness following the heartbreaking loss in the "Tuck Rule Game" the year before.

But the differences between Gruden and Callahan were stark, and things with the Raiders changed.

"Dudes would play for Gru," Dorsett said. "Dudes would play for Gru. They love him, you know what I'm saying? When Callahan became the coach we played for each other.

"When he addressed the team as head coach, he was like, 'I don't need any more friends. So, that's not what I'm worried about here."

It was clear almost immediately to Brown that this wasn't the right call.

"Callahan didn't care about us," Brown said. "He could care less about us. It was a job for him. WIth Gruden, there were relationships there."

[RELATED: Would Raiders have won Super Bowl if Robbins played?]

Despite the lack of connection with Callahan, the Raiders steamrolled through the regular season and into the Super Bowl, where Gruden and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were waiting.

The Raiders, filled with swagger, thought the title was theirs. But a confluence of events, including Robbins' disappearance and Callahan's decision to change the game plan on Friday, left them shellshocked entering Qualcomm Stadium.

The Bucs were ready for everything the Raiders threw at them, and some members of the Silver and Black swear Gruden knew what plays were coming.

The 48-21 demolition by the Bucs led some to charge Callahan with purposefully handing his former boss a title.

"We have guys on the sideline at the Super Bowl, who are trying to get the head coach," Brown said. "Guys who want to fight him, at the Super Bowl. On the sideline. In the locker room. That's all anybody was talking about. 'This is sabotage, Callahan. You did this for Gruden!' "

Callahan has denied the accusations. He was fired after the following season when the Raiders posted a 4-12 record.

Was it sabotage? Doubtful. But it's clear Callahan was in over his head from Day 1 as the leader of the Silver and Black.