Sources have told NBC Sports’ Chris Simms that the 49ers are not going to sign quarterback Tom Brady. The Patriots legend, obviously, is entering free agency for the first time in his career and has been tied to San Francisco for some time. Brady grew up in the Bay Area and following Jimmy Garoppolo‘s struggles in the Super Bowl, many people were connecting the two.
While Simms noted he was unclear if anything had changed over the past few days, he stated that the 49ers were Brady’s preferred destination, but the organization plans to stick with Garoppolo. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports added in the aftermath of Simms’ report that the Titans and 49ers interest was “always more smoke than fire.”
Simms is a longtime friend of 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and this may be the most public way San Francisco chooses to rebuke the rumors that have tied Brady to the Niners. Reading between the lines, if the 49ers were indeed Brady’s favorite destination, the rumors could have been entirely driven by his camp, while San Francisco never necessarily considered a change at quarterback.
Assuming Simms’ report is accurate after the Titans extended Ryan Tannehill earlier this afternoon, two of Brady’s most appealing options seem to be off the table. At this point, a return to New England seems like the only avenue available to Brady if he wants to be a contender, otherwise, teams like the Chargers, Buccaneers, or Raiders pose the largest threat to sign him away.