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Yes, I think Tom Brady will end up with the 49ers

Mike Florio and Chris Simms assess the rumors that Tom Brady could be waiting on the Buccaneers' next move at quarterback in order to work out a return from retirement with the 49ers.

I’ve said it on PFT Live or #PFTPM or both. It made more of a stir than I thought it would, because I thought it would make none.

So let me say it here. I think Tom Brady will play for the 49ers in 2022.

I don’t know that he will. I’m not predicting that he will. But I have a feeling that he will. If he doesn’t, he doesn’t. If he does, many will be surprised. I won’t be.

It shouldn’t really surprise anyone. What have we heard over and over regarding Brady’s football career? What more does he have to prove? Nothing. But he has never played for the team he grew up rooting for. And that team -- the 49ers -- has a Super Bowl-ready roster. Just add quarterback.

Jimmy Garoppolo presided over a blown 10-point, fourth-quarter lead in the Super Bowl two years ago. He then presided over a blown 10-point, fourth-quarter lead in the NFC Championship 22 days ago. Rookie Trey Lance may or may not be ready to.

So why not spend a year with Brady? The 49ers were his first choice when he became a free agent in 2020, but the 49ers said, “No thanks.” They surely regret it. Now, they may have a chance to rectify it.

It won’t be easy. The Buccaneers hold Brady’s rights. But if Brady wants out, would they deny him that opportunity? He delivered a Super Bowl win. He filled the stadium in 2021. He signed an extension last year for cap reasons. Would they tell him “tough crap” if he asked to be traded or released?

For now, he’s retired. Even though he never used the word. And even though he said, “Never say never.”

Here’s the reality. If Brady doesn’t join the 49ers now, he never will. So, yes, I’ve got a feeling he wants to do it and that, by Week One, he will.