© Kyle Terada | 2016 Nov 20
The San Francisco 49ers had a chance to draft Tom Brady in the 2000 NFL Draft. In fact, they made nine selections in that draft before Brady was selected in the sixth round with the 199th overall pick. The 49ers even selected a quarterback, Giovanni Carmazzi, in the third round, and he never played in a regular season game for them.
Tom Brady, who grew up in San Mateo and went to Junipero Serra High School, is about to play his 20th season for the New England Patriots and is on a mission to win his seventh Super Bowl.
It’s safe to say that the 49ers picked the wrong quarterback in the 2000 NFL Draft, but as Brady is in the twilight of his career, a few people have begun to speculate that there’s a slight possibility he might not spend the rest of his career in New England.
Chris Long, a defensive end who played and won alongside Tom Brady during the 2016-17 NFL Season and in Super Bowl LI, doesn’t think Tom Brady will switch teams, but gave his take on the speculation in Sports Illustrated on Tuesday morning.
“Let’s get even crazier and hypothesize that Tom would like to wear a new uniform at 43 years old,” Long wrote. “There’s only one place I could see him going — back to the Bay.”
Long then detailed a wild hypothetical scenario.
“The Pats shipped Jimmy Garoppolo out West in 2017 for the 43rd overall pick and have parlayed that bounty into six players with more picks to come. Garappolo was once thought to be Brady’s heir apparent, and maybe he is after all.
“Let’s say Jimmy G has a modest year (I don’t think he does) and looks like Tannehill 2.0. Next offsesaon, Brady hits the market and expresses interest in returning home to suit up for the team he adored as a teenager (in 1990). San Francisco releases Garoppolo and he ends up back in New England, where Belichek beautifully repurposes what’s perceived as damaged goods. The Niners will have no choice as the 2019 Brady-led Pats will play too well to land them a high pick in a QB-rich draft (unless they can convert their cache of picks into a top 10 prospect). The Italian Stallion leads the Pats to an unlikely Super Bowl berth where he meets — you guessed it — the GOAT.
“Well, that last part might be totally crazy. You probably want what I’m smoking, but you’ll be disappointed when I tell you it’s just a lot of free time.”
Most legendary athletes don’t get to spend their whole career in one uniform like Derek Jeter or Kobe Bryant. Instead, many have a couple strange seasons donning unfamiliar colors. Players like Shaquille O’Neal end up on the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics, Randy Johnson wins his 300th career game with the San Francisco Giants, and Michael Jordan ends up playing two seasons on the Washington Wizards.
Will Tom Brady spend the entirety of his career with one team like Jeter or Kobe, or will the NFL’s “GOAT” mirror the path of Michael Jordan and finish his career outside of New England?
To read Chris Long’s piece on Sports Illustrated, click here.