In case you had not heard, Tom Brady is scheduled to become a free agent. Now, there is always the possibility that he returns to the New England Patriots, and there is still time for that to happen. For now, the media appears focused on other potential landing spots because ... well ... it's fun to think about, and there isn't much going on until the Scouting Combine.

Others have been roasted online by the San Francisco 49ers fanbase for even mentioning a Brady-to-Niners scenario. It would appear that Bill Barnwell of ESPN doesn't want to be left out.

Barnwell kicked off a series looking at five offseason moves each NFL team should consider, and started with the NFC West this week. Smack dab at No. 1 for the 49ers was considering Brady.


Barnwell does acknowledge that there is "a .01% chance" of a Brady-to-49ers scenario happening, noting that San Francisco already has a franchise quarterback.

"Tom Brady, though, is Tom Brady," writes Barnwell.

The ESPN writer then goes through a list of reasons why joining the 49ers might make sense for Brady, other than the growing-up-a-fan reasons the Niners Faithful are probably sick of hearing about. Barnwell notes that San Francisco has a better offensive line and weapons than the Patriots and "just as good" of a defense. He says the 49ers have a better play-caller in Kyle Shanahan.

"I still think Brady will end up staying in New England, but if he were to leave, the 49ers would be a very tantalizing opportunity," adds Barnwell.

The move would not be so simple, however. After all, adding Brady would almost certainly mean parting ways with Jimmy Garoppolo. Financially, that is not a difficult task, but the two quarterbacks are each represented by the same agent — Don Yee. That makes things awkward ... you know, in this fictitious Brady-to-49ers world.

Perhaps the Patriots, who would suddenly be in need of a starting quarterback, would be interested in Garoppolo returning. Bill Belichick reportedly saw Garoppolo as the eventual successor to Brady before being forced to trade him.

Barnwell even comes up with a trade scenario that might make sense for both teams. The 49ers are without a Day 2 draft pick while the Patriots lack a second-rounder, all thanks to 2019 trades. Barnwell suggests the following:

  • Patriots get Garoppolo and pick No. 31
  • 49ers get picks No. 23 and No. 85

"Brady will probably be a Patriots quarterback in 2020," Barnwell concludes. "Garoppolo will almost certainly be starting for the 49ers. Fun to think about, though."

While Shanahan didn't come right out and declare Garoppolo was going to be his quarterback in 2020, he did imply it while responding to reporters last week. The coach also noted that he has just as much faith in Garoppolo now as he did before Super Bowl LIV.

"There's no difference," Shanahan told reporters. "He was on his way close to (being named) Super Bowl MVP. ... I can't tell you how much I loved coaching the guy as a player and as a person this year."

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