San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy is slated to start in his first Super Bowl next week at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada. But if the dominoes fell differently before the season began, it could’ve been another late-round pick slinging passes in Purdy’s place named Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr.
A report emerged last month about the 49ers’ very real attempt to lure Tom Brady out of retirement during the offseason. At the time, Purdy was still nursing the elbow injury he had suffered during last year’s NFC Championship Game. Purdy’s unclear recovery timeline left the Niners unsure of their QB room heading into the season.
Jimmy Garoppolo headed to the Las Vegas Raiders. Trey Lance remained an enigma for a franchise looking for stability at the sport’s most important position. There’s hardly been any QB more stable in NFL history than Brady.
Kyle Shanahan Talks Openly About The San Francisco 49ers’ Pursuit Of Tom Brady
NBC Sports’ Peter King recently asked 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan about the team’s pursuit of Brady. Shanahan opened up to King about just how “serious” the team was in chasing Brady and how the conversation with Purdy on the topic went.
“Yes, I was serious about it,” Shanahan told King. “As we talked, I’m looking at Brock, and he’s got his arm in a sling, and I really am not sure I’ve got a quarterback who’s going to be ready for the start of the 2023 season. That started all of this.”
Shanahan clarified that despite the team’s interest in Brady, he assured Brock that the move would have been a 1-year thing. Purdy was still going to be “the guy” and the future of the team — and Shanahan let him know it too.
“I actually thought it was giving Brock the biggest compliment,” Shanahan continued. “I let him know he’s our guy long-term. No question. And if Tom Brady wanted to come here and start for one year, that’s the only way you’re not starting when you’re healthy this year. That’s pretty cool. I wanted to assure him, ‘Don’t worry. You’re our guy. But how cool would it be if Tom Brady would be the quarterback here for one season? How cool would it be for you to learn from him?’”
Tom Brady Has Beaten Patrick Mahomes At The Super Bowl — Can Brock Purdy Do The Same?
Brady, of course, declined the 49ers’ offer to unretire for the second time. Purdy was also able to make a speedy recovery in time to start Week 1 and help carry the 49ers to a 5-0 start to the season.
Purdy was also able to lead the team to the Super Bowl, which is what Brady’s end goal would have been had he signed with the 49ers.
What Brady does have over Purdy (aside from a 7 Super Bowl rings, 15 Pro Bowl selections, and 3 MVP awards) is experience in beating Patrick Mahomes on the NFL’s biggest stage. Purdy will have a chance to do the same at Super Bowl LVIII.