There’s yet another report indicating that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were not the first choice for quarterback Tom Brady when Brady left the New England Patriots as a free agent following the 2019 NFL season.
In an interview with Michael Grant of Awful Announcing, an insider with Patriots Seth Wickersham explained that Brady “wanted to join the” San Francisco 49ers in 2020.
“He wouldn’t have had a free-agency tour if they were interested,” Wickersham said about Brady’s desire to feature for the 49ers.
“It’s his childhood home. His parents could drive to games for the first time since he was in high school.”
It’s no secret that Brady grew up a San Francisco fan in San Mateo and was heavily linked with the 49ers in early 2020. However, it was later learned that San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch only briefly considered signing Brady before they elected to keep Jimmy Garoppolo as their starter.
Brady, of course, ended his first season as Tampa Bay’s QB1 with a seventh career Super Bowl ring, and Shanahan later suggested he regretted not signing TB12 in March 2020.
Additionally, Nick Wagoner of ESPN reported this week that Shanahan would’ve started Brady over second-year pro Brock Purdy this season if Brady had been willing to end the second playing retirement that he announced in February 2023.
Wickersham also mentioned how former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden “passed” on signing Brady in 2020. As the story goes, UFC boss Dana White “worked to put that deal together for” both Brady and future Hall of Fame tight end Rob Gronkowski to join the Raiders after the 2019 season before Gruden “blew the deal up.”
Former Las Vegas tight end Darren Waller said last winter he “heard it from multiple sources that I respect and I’ve been close to” that “Brady to the Raiders was a lock” until it wasn’t.
“They all look like fools because of how successful (Brady) was,” Wickersham added about people within the Patriots who let Brady go after the 2019 season and the individuals who didn’t sign Brady before he won a Super Bowl with the Buccaneers.