Don't dismiss prospect of 49ers signing Tom Brady in free agency

Don't dismiss prospect of 49ers signing Tom Brady in free agency

A funny thing happened after I told SIRIUS radio host Adam Schein on Tuesday that the San Francisco 49ers were “closing hard on the outside” in the Tom Brady Sweepstakes.

People who KNOW THINGS reached out to say, “Do NOT back off of that…”

I was half-joking when I initially said it. Schein asked me where Brady would end up, I guessed, “Fifty-percent chance to the Patriots, 50 percent chance to the Titans ...”. That’s 100 percent.

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I tossed in the Niners because Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio and NFL Network’s Deion Sanders had separately spitballed on the possibility of Brady landing in San Fran with Jimmy Garoppolo landing back with the Patriots.

When what I said gained traction, my first thought was, “Nice work, dummy. You dropped a match into a pile of dried leaves. Start stomping on the flames.”

But then came the people telling me they were hearing the same thing. And people I didn’t speak to directly — like the estimable Karen Guregian of The Boston Herald — reached out to their sources and got back opaque confirmation that, “Yeah. There could be something there.”

None of this chatter indicates the Niners are camped outside the office of Brady’s agent Don Yee waiting for the legal tampering period to start so they can make their pitch.

It’s flimsy. But it’s persistent. Why?

First, Brady would love to play there. Second, as much as Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan likes Garoppolo, I’ve been told by multiple sources that he’s got some reservations about Garoppolo’s ceiling and overall decision making.

Enough to use the emergency exit the Niners built into Garoppolo’s contract? That would be a bold move. But ask yourself: Why is the option to move on from Garoppolo with minimal penalty even there? Just in case? In case of what?

In case the chance for an upgrade exists.

Then you get to the questions that Shanahan, GM John Lynch and owner Jed York would have to address.

Is Brady an upgrade at 43?

Would it be wise to move on from Garoppolo, court Brady and hope that Shanahan’s first love — Kirk Cousins — can be landed to succeed Brady?

Would the Niners locker room embrace it?

Would the Niners cut a good quarterback — which Garoppolo undeniably is — with manageable base salary numbers and cap hits if they didn’t KNOW they would get Brady?

Would they try to deal Garoppolo to the highest bidder or do the Patriots a solid by sending him back to Foxboro the way Belichick did Shanahan a solid in 2017?

And if the Niners cut Jimmy, would Yee want to see Garoppolo go back to the Patriots?

The only way this whole scenario works — a place for Tom is cleared and Garoppolo returns — is if the Niners dealt Garoppolo back here.

That’s ... a lot. But Brady to San Fran?

"I have spoken to executives with eight different teams that are at the very least monitoring Tom Brady's free agency," ESPN’s Jeff Darlington said Wednesday. "They are going down this list having internal discussions right now saying, 'Is this the right fit for our organization?' "

The 49ers are among the eight. They are not among the four teams that Darlington suggested would — if the opportunity presented itself — sign Brady tomorrow.

It’s important to note, this Darlington report isn’t people from “camps” talking about what they think the market for Brady is. It’s executives from specific teams expressing varying levels of interest in Brady.

Turns out, it’s real. Who knew?

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Patriots' Stephon Gilmore one of many NFL stars in powerful 'Black Lives Matter' video

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Patriots' Stephon Gilmore one of many NFL stars in powerful 'Black Lives Matter' video

Several of the NFL's biggest stars are stepping up to speak out against systemic racism and the racial injustices that once again have come to light in the wake of George Floyd's murder.

New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore joined up with the New York Giants' Saquon Barkley, Kansas City Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes, Cleveland Browns' Odell Beckham Jr., Arizona Cardinals' DeAndre Hopkins and a number of other high-profile black players to put together a powerful video on Thursday.

In the video, the players reveal what they would like to hear the NFL state about the racial injustices that continue to plague the country.

Watch below:

Hopefully, the league and its fans will hear their message loud and clear.

McCourty twins address Drew Brees' controversial comments, whether they forgive Saints QB

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McCourty twins address Drew Brees' controversial comments, whether they forgive Saints QB

Drew Brees has taken plenty of heat lately due to the comments he made about players "disrespecting the American flag" by kneeling during the national anthem.

The New Orleans Saints quarterback was asked during an interview with Yahoo! Finance about players kneeling during the anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice in America. Brees answered, “I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country."

It didn't take long for the veteran QB to get backlash for those insensitive remarks. A number of Brees' NFL peers, including both Devin and Jason McCourty of the New England Patriots, scolded him for his comments.

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On Thursday, the McCourty twins delved deeper into the subject on a special edition of their Double Coverage podcast titled "Bridge To Action." Following an enlightening interview with former FBI special agent M. Quentin Williams, which you can watch below, the McCourtys addressed the Brees situation. 

"Everybody's been in an uproar over Drew Brees' comments, and obviously we've responded on Twitter," said Jason McCourty. "Somebody had asked earlier, 'do we forgive him?' and I don't think any of this thing is about forgiveness. It's not about Drew Brees, it's not about Jason or Devin McCourty, it's about realizing, 'Alright, here's an issue and we need to find a solution for that issue.' Like, you don't have an issue with Drew Brees when he makes those statements. You have an issue with that train of thought, and that thought is what we're trying to move away from.

"So as soon as anyone who has that thought is willing to dive in and learn, and open up dialogue to talk about -- because I think sometimes we subconsciously have thoughts that we don't know we have, and then we say some things that we may have to take some time to go back and self-reflect ... Maybe I need to look inwardly and see like, 'Hey, maybe I'm not looking at this thing the right way. And I think when we're able to do that, there's no animosity or hostility toward anyone because that's not what we're trying to do. It's about there's an issue, and we want to fix this issue."

Devin McCourty doubled down on what his brother had to say and mentioned that he doesn't have anything against Brees. Rather, he hopes this will help the 41-year-old and others like him look at the situation from a different perspective.

"It's not about forgiving or hating," said Devin. "Like, I've never hated Drew Brees. I don't even know Drew Brees. So it was never about that. It was just, how can we get people to now not look through those lenses. And he's a guy who if he doesn't look through those lenses, he can get a lot of other people to feel the same way. So hopefully some good turns out from that."

Brees has since issued an apology for his comments, saying they "lacked awareness and any type of compassion or empathy."

Beyond the McCourty twins' comments on Brees, their interview with Williams is well worth the watch. Williams is the founder and CEO of the non-profit organization Dedication to Community, whose mission is to "empower individuals and communities to achieve their business and societal goals through the spirit of entrepreneurial enterprise and community advocacy. The McCourtys and Williams had a mindful conversation about the recent killings of unarmed black men, the relationship between law enforcement and communities of color, and the next steps to implementing positive change in the United States.