Free agent Tom Brady was a hot topic for 49ers general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan.
But within “a day or two,” Lynch said it was clear to the franchise it had a good thing going with Jimmy Garoppolo. The 49ers acquired Garoppolo from the New England Patriots in 2018, when he was blocked from a starting job by Brady.
Lynch said Tuesday on The Rich Eisen Show that the team’s discussions even included Garoppolo, who guided San Francisco to the Super Bowl last season.
“When you’re talking about one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time with Tom Brady, of course you’re going to have some internal discussion,” Lynch told Eisen. “And then you hear rumors that hey, he’d like to come home, that kind of thing. So of course Kyle and I have discussions. We’re always into getting better, so you always look at everything, especially a situation like that.
“But within a day or two, Kyle and I looked at each other and said, ‘You know what, we really like what we have in Jimmy.’ We love everything that he brings, and we really believe it’s a long-term answer. I would tell you we’re more convinced than ever about who our quarterback is in Jimmy Garoppolo.”
Lynch was outwardly reflective on the 49ers’ runner-up finish last season, which included blowing a 10-point lead over the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl. Garoppolo was 3-for-11 for 36 yards and an interception in the fourth quarter. Lynch said watching the film of that loss, he realized the team wasn’t as tough-minded as he thought it was.
That helped feed media speculation and the social media rumor mill that the 42-year-old Brady, or another quarterback, would be a priority for Lynch.
But the 49ers kept Garoppolo, 28, apprised of their thinking all along, Lynch said.
“Kyle and I had just made a statement at the combine, stating how much we believed in Jimmy,” Lynch said. “Then these rumors come out. If you start chasing every rumor out there and making a statement on it, then you are doing that all the time. Yes, this was a bigger one, but the important thing was we had talked to Jimmy and told him exactly what I told you.”
Brady departed New England in free agency and narrowed his choices to the Los Angeles Chargers, who set Philip Rivers free, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers before picking the latter.
—Field Level Media