Welcome to the offseason — a time where everyone has a take, and everyone will roll with said take. Obviously, San Francisco 49ers fans have vented frustrations towards the team, and one of those frustrations is Jimmy Garoppolo. I get it. I’ve even said he needs a long look and a fire under his butt for 2020. We’ve already talked about that.
Right now, let’s talk about some of the dumb takes. First, cutting Jimmy Garoppolo is a bad take, but not completely out of the realm of possibility. Cutting Jimmy Garoppolo for Tom Brady is levels of foolishness you haven’t seen. Since some people want to suggest it, it’s up to me to explain why that’s not happening.
Let’s first start with the obvious: Garoppolo is entering his prime, Brady is past his twilight. There’s not much you’re going to get back from that investment besides putting butts in the seats for a game or two to see Brady in a 49ers jersey. Brady wasn’t awful in 2019, but what we saw wasn’t looking too hot. He was transitioning to the same role of Peyton Manning during Manning’s final years in Denver: the dreaded game manager. And it’s only going to get worse with age. If you’re thinking you’re getting 33-year-old Tom Brady, think again. Father Time is unbeaten, and he’s starting his grip on Brady.
Second, Garoppolo has a much more team-friendly deal right now than Brady does. Obviously, the 49ers can cut that contract and sign Brady, but why would you? Has Garoppolo shown you enough that it’s worth cutting him and then overloading what is a thin salary cap to get a quarterback that will be good for one year? This is Brady’s last payday. He’s not going to take a hometown discount for $8 million.
Finally, there’s time. Typically a new quarterback needs a year to just get the offense under their belt; this is especially true if the offense is using terminology different than what the quarterback has been used to. Remember when Garoppolo arrived in San Francisco and talked about how learning Kyle Shanahan’s offense was like learning a new language? Yeah. That’s three years of him in the Erhardt-Perkins system and transitioning to west coast terminology. Three years. Brady has nearly 20 in that system. You’re asking him to switch everything he’s been doing, learning, and executing for two decades, and it’s going to turn out well.
And if you think Kyle Shanahan is going to adapt his system to Brady, you have another thing coming. He’ll make Brady learn his nomenclature just as Garoppolo did. Can you think of how difficult that would be to go nearly two decades using the same tools, applications, and structure, only to have it thrown for a whole new program and operating system? Brady would struggle immediately. Kyle Shanahan’s offense, in particular, will make that acquisition a bad idea.
“Oh Pat,” random football fan might say “it worked for Joe Montana,”
What offense did Joe Montana play in San Francisco? A west coast offense under Bill Walsh. Who was the offensive coordinator in Kansas City when he was traded? Paul Hackett, who was the quarterbacks coach in San Francisco under Bill Walsh. Plus, Montana himself has warned Brady of going to a new team.
Brady could be playing on a new team next year; it will not be the San Francisco 49ers.