The Armchair Quarterback Volume 53: The Tom Brady Debacle

Image Credit: Andrew Giesemann

This week in the news Tom Brady was finally not the most talked about Tom. And while we at the 49ersHub wish Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson a speedy recovery, we are unfortunately going to have to shift the talk back to Brady. But maybe with all the other on-going events of the week, the Brady to the San Francisco 49ers rumors will begin to quell. And to try and put out the fire that Brady’s free agency has become, we bring you reasons why the 49ers should not sign him.

Jimmy is Still Here

First and foremost, bringing Brady in would mean moving on from current quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. The amount of slander that Garoppolo receives from the media is really unheralded. Media outlets, opposing fans, and hell, even some so-called 49ers fans try to diminish his accomplishments by giving all the credit for his numbers to head coach Kyle Shanahan.

Shanahan absolutely deserves some of the credit for Garoppolo’s success due to his offensive play calling. But Garoppolo is the one out on the field executing the game plan. Consider that in the 2019 regular season Garoppolo was tied for fifth place in the NFL with 27 touchdowns. In addition, he averaged 8.4 yards per pass attempt. That put him at third in the league.

At the end of the day, Garoppolo reached the Super Bowl in his first full season as a starter. He has a record of 21-5 in regular season starts. It’s safe to say that he hasn’t peaked as yet, and he will continue to improve. With that said, to move on from Garoppolo to Brady would be unwise, as he’s just starting to hit his stride.

Brick by Brick

The 2017 and 2018 seasons were brutal for the 49ers. But those were the building years. The motif of Shanahan and general manager John Lynch’s tenure with the team was “Brick by Brick.” And now, just as all the pieces are fitting into place, a move to bring in a short-term rental like Brady would uproot all the chemistry that has been built by Shanahan and Lynch over the last three seasons. And it screams, “Hey, we don’t care about players we’ve nurtured and are ready to replace anyone at any time by a big-name free agent.” Not a good look.

If one paid close attention to the moves made by Lynch and Shanahan over the past three seasons, there was a common theme. They were unwilling to get into bidding wars with other teams over highly coveted free agents. They were content in many instances with nurturing the talent they drafted rather than chasing names. Not to say they held back on offering big contracts to certain free agents, but they were reasonable with their moves or “prudently aggressive” as some would say.

Going after Brady would completely go against their philosophy. It would be less “Brick by Brick” and more like the “mortgage the future to win now” strategy made popular in recent times by Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay.

Age is a Factor

By the time the 2020 NFL season begins (if no setbacks occur), Brady will be 43 years of age. And while he has extended his career much longer than the average quarterback, Father Time is still undefeated. Brady is at most a two-year rental for a team.

Hell, Brady might be able to play efficiently until he is 50 the way things are looking. But the key word there is “efficiently.” He has been a top performer almost every season since he’s been a starter. And chances are for a competitor like him, he won’t want to be remembered as just efficient. He won’t hang around long enough to let the decline kick in, he’ll walk away with a little bit left in the tank. That way everyone remembers the best Brady.

With that said, if the 49ers went after Brady, they’d likely lose Garoppolo. And then in two years they’d be back to square one at the quarterback position. Garoppolo will only be 28 years of age at the beginning of the 2020 season. If he can stay healthy, he has many more good years of football in front of him. He is the better option for the long-term, which is what Shanahan and Lynch are building for.

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