Tom Brady

Brady deflects report 49ers wanted him to start at QB over Purdy

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It doesn't appear an NFL return was in the cards for Tom Brady this season.

The veteran quarterback, who played 23 NFL seasons, officially retired after the 2022 season and was linked to San Francisco as a possible destination should he decide to play one more year.

Second-year quarterback Brock Purdy told ESPN's Nick Wagoner earlier this season that coach Kyle Shanahan assured him he would be the team's starting quarterback in 2023 unless San Francisco was able to lure Brady out of retirement.

Brady appeared on the "Pat McAfee Show" on Tuesday, where McAfee mentioned the 49ers weighing a pursuit of his services and was asked what he thought of Purdy.

"Brock's done a great job with the opportunity," Brady said. "He got it and he's taken advantage of it. He was a late-round pick, I know he's got a chip on his shoulder and he wants to go out there and prove every day that he's the right fit for that team. It's a great organization they're running, I really respect Kyle, but Brock's done a hell of a job."

Despite teams' possible attempts to lure him out of retirement, Brady is content with his decision to stay retired and is excited to begin his post-playing career as a FOX Sports broadcast analyst.

"I think in football, whether you're a free agent ... I've heard so many draft stories from when I was drafted "oh, I was a scout for the Packers at the time,' or "oh, I was a scout for the Colts at the time and had we taken you ...' You can look at everything in football and say 'what if?' Brady shared. "But the reality is I deal with what happened and the decisions that were made, whether it was free agency for me, whether it was signing contracts with the Patriots.

"In this last offseason there's a lot of different things people would suggest, but I kind of just kept my mind focused on where I wanted to go and this was a great year for me to sit back and watch and learn and get prepared for being in the FOX booth next year."

Brady signed a reported 10-year, $375 million contract with FOX Sports and will make his debut in the booth at the start of the 2024 NFL season.

While a return to the field never seemed to be 100 percent out of the question, the 46-year-old future Hall of Famer, who is widely regarded as the greatest quarterback of all time, now has hundreds of millions of reasons to officially call it quits and enjoy his retirement.

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