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Golden Nuggets: Get ready to hear all about how the 49ers should’ve signed Tom Brady last offseason

Your daily San Francisco 49ers links for Monday, February 8, 2021

Super Bowl LV Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Heading into the Super Bowl, everything screamed that the Chiefs would win big. If there was a team out there that could do it, it was Tampa Bay. The Bucs have wide receivers and pass rushers who can win 1-on-1, eye-popping speed on defense, an alien at right tackle, aggressive coaches, and Tom Brady.

Kansas City played about as bad as they could, but it was really all of their mistakes over the past two months rearing their ugly head. All week we heard analysts reference how dominant the 49ers defense was against the Chiefs during Super Bowl 54. On Sunday, we saw what happens when your offense puts pressure on Kansas City by continuing to score.

Brady’s Super Bowl win vs. Chiefs should sting 49ers in many ways

If anything was made clear during Brady’s first year in Tampa, it’s that he was far from a product of the Patriot Way. There’s no system quarterback in him. He took a forgotten NFL franchise to the Super Bowl and that speaks to his ability both on the field and as a leader. He is a rising tide that lifts all boats.

Twelve months ago, the 49ers promised to return to finish the job. Many believed they would.

The 49ers had to feel the sting as Brady and the Bucs bathed in confetti after doing what they couldn’t against Mahomes and the Chiefs.

The Chiefs will be back. Brady is far from finished.

But the 49ers no longer know when, or if, they’ll ever get the chance again.

49ers re-sign RB Austin Walter

San Francisco signed Walter as an undrafted free agent out of Rice in 2019. He was waived before the start of his rookie season.

Walter spent some time with the New York Giants before re-joining the 49ers on September 23, 2020. He had just one carry for three yards while adding one reception for 27 yards through four game appearances this past season.

49ers pick quarterback, get best of 2 worlds in NFL mock draft

The San Francisco 49ers’ plans at quarterback for the 2021 season and beyond are their largest question marks going into the offseason. In Lance Zierlein’s first mock draft for NFL.com, the 49ers select North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance with the No. 12 overall pick. That scenario would lead to a fascinating few months for San Francisco.

For the 49ers to use their top pick on a quarterback means a trade for Deshaun Watson is very likely off the table. So let’s assume that’s the case, and Jimmy Garoppolo is still on San Francisco’s roster.

Selecting Lance with their first pick gives the 49ers a little bit of the best of both worlds in regard to the short and long-term future of the quarterback position in San Francisco.

Starting a rookie in 2021 would ostensibly take the 49ers out of Super Bowl contention right away. A first-year signal caller has never started nor won a Super Bowl. Championship windows aren’t open that often, so effectively throwing away the 2021 season to start the No. 12 overall pick probably isn’t in the cards.

Why 49ers GM John Lynch has Bill Walsh to thank for Hall of Fame career in football

“I remember getting a call from Jane Walsh, who was Bill Walsh’s assistant, saying ‘Coach Walsh would like to speak with you,’” Lynch said Sunday morning over Zoom hours before the Chiefs and Buccaneers squared off in Super Bowl LV.

“And got on the phone with coach and he asked me when I got back to the Bay Area if I could come in and meet with him. And I’ll never forget as long as I live, he said, ‘I understand the great opportunity you have in baseball. But I believe that you can be an All-Pro safety in the NFL.’”

Lynch continued: “It took all my courage to say, ‘With all due respect, coach Walsh, I played one year at safety and I played half the snaps, if that. What leads you to believe (I should go back to football)?’”

Ex-49ers QB Alex Smith named AP Comeback Player of the Year

While many questioned whether Smith would play football again, he proved doubters wrong and stepped back onto the football field against the Los Angeles Rams on October 11, 2020, and then started six games this past season.

Smith finished the season passing for 1,582 yards with six touchdowns and eight interceptions. He was 5-1 as a starter.

On Saturday, the former No. 1 overall pick by the San Francisco 49ers, who had a stop in Kansas City before landing in Washington, was named the AP Comeback Player of the Year.