The 49ers had a chance to sign Tom Brady last offseason.
Their expressed interest is well-known at this point as well as Brady himself reportedly having mutual interest. What could have been, probably should have been.
Brady is off to his 10th Super Bowl Appearance, while the 49ers are sitting at home. In hindsight, maybe the 49ers should have locked in Brady. I for one did not advocate for the 49ers to sign him. At the time, I actually believed Garoppolo was the better option long-term wise. What a fool I was after the 2020 season the 49ers had.
Considering what has transpired since last March: should the 49ers regret passing on Tom Brady?
Forget hindsight for just a second here. The 49ers elected to pass on the greatest quarterback and player of all time. A guy who is the epitome of winning, which you would think fans of Jimmy Garoppolo would scream for since that is all they talk about in defense of him.
A healthy Garoppolo this season would have made the 49ers playoff contenders. Having Brady as their quarterback would have made them Super Bowl contenders. The 49ers would have struggled against the Buccaneers and the Chiefs again had they made it far this season with Garoppolo. The book is out on him on how to mess up his game. He just isn't the quarterback the 49ers need to keep their team elite.
Now I have seen some people take the defensive stance with the 49ers. That they still made the right choice to pass on him. One interesting take is that Brady likely gets injured at MetLife Stadium just like Garoppolo. Well, that is absolutely nuts to believe because Brady plays at that stadium every year. Garoppolo got injured at the very least due to the turf. Many of the 49ers players from that game cited the turf as the source of their injuries.
As a matter of fact, I would argue that Brady would have prevented all of those injuries.
Brady understands the field conditions at MetLife Stadium. He knows it inside-and-out. He would certainly have given tips to the team regarding the ideal cleats and other equipment to improve their playing conditions. Clearly, the coaching staff didn't know what was best for the team because almost every player couldn't find their footing.
With Brady, the offensive line woes get masked to a certain degree. Brady doesn't hold onto the football in a panic once his first read is gone like Garoppolo. Not to mention his internal clock is profound. Because of how threatening of a passer he is, suddenly the 49ers' run game is superb again. Defenses would essentially be forfeiting the game by loading up the box to stop the run while Brady is the quarterback. Raheem Mostert would have had larger numbers and possibly one less injury. Jeff Wilson Jr. would have truly had a breakout year against lighter box.
So he would have significantly had a lesser chance of being injured compared to Garoppolo. The same can be said for Deebo Samuel who suffered injuries playing as a running back. If Brady was under center, Kyle Shanahan does not call an abundance of handoff plays to Samuel. He would actually use him like a wide receiver.
Notice how many things I just described would have opened up in the offense with Brady? It gives credence to how much Shanahan tailors the offense to the limitations of Garoppolo.
The 49ers should have signed Brady. Super Bowl windows do not last forever and with him as the quarterback, he maximizes the opportunity.
Could have, should have, would have now.