Kyle Shanahan seems to regret passing on Tom Brady in 2020


NFL: DEC 05 Saints at Buccaneers

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Tom Brady has wanted, at least once in the past three years, to play for the 49ers. Instead, he’ll be playing against them on Sunday, in Santa Clara.

Earlier this week, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan was asked whether he was surprised by what Brady has done since the 2019 season, which many regarded as evidence of a decline by Brady as he got deeper into his forties.

“I’d like to say of course not, but I think everyone’s since then, you’re wondering when is the number too high?” Shanahan told reporters. “But now like when you watch him that first week in Tampa, you’re like, what the hell was anyone ever thinking? The dude looks the exact same, he did that year [in 2020]. He does when he comes off injuries and I think he’s playing as good now and throwing the ball as well now as I’ve seen anybody ever do it.”

Shanahan, who passed on signing Brady in 2020, heaped even more praise for the San Mateo native.

“He plays the position better than anyone ever and he’s definitely the GOAT from what I’ve seen, but I don’t say that just because he has won Super Bowls,” Shanahan said. “I say it because of how he plays the position. The ball always goes to the right spot and that answer is based off of a thousand different things that could be matchups, it could be the coverage that could be based off of down and distance, the time in the game, how the defense is playing. If you just watch him throughout his whole life and you see him make a decision and you see him make a different decision in the second quarter, he just has command of the game and knows how to win it and what it takes, whatever that is. He’s kind of flawless in his technique, how he gets everyone the ball, and he’s done that his whole career, but his throwing mechanics, they only get better each year, so I feel like his arm’s stronger now than it was 10 years ago and his legs moved just as good as they did 10 years ago. They weren’t great then, but he’s extremely efficient and quick in the pocket and knows where to look and knows where to get the ball to and he’s still the best to play.”

The 49ers have acknowledged that they evaluated Brady in 2020. There was reason to think that Brady was considering playing for the 49ers in 2022, but that the team once again said “thanks” and “no, thanks.”

It becomes very interesting after the current season, when Brady will once again be a free agent and the 49ers will have to decide whether to bring back Jimmy Garoppolo, whether to roll with Trey Lance and Brock Purdy, or whether to finally sign up for a one-year run with the GOAT.

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