Why Tom Brady signing 49ers contract in NFL free agency is pipe dream


It would be a Cinderella story, right?

Tom Brady -- one of the most highly touted free agents in NFL history -- grew up in the Bay Area and played high school football about 25 miles from Levi’s Stadium.

Could the 49ers actually bring in the 42-year-old quarterback to put a bow on his career, playing for the NFL team he rooted for while growing up and in the shadow of his favorite player, Joe Montana?

Not unless San Francisco’s front office is looking to historically constrict its salary cap.

As NBC Sports NFL analyst Peter King explained in his latest Football Morning in America column, the 49ers would have to back up the proverbial Brinks truck to sign Brady.

So let’s do the math.
• Niners are $13.1 million under the proposed 2020 cap.
• Jimmy Garoppolo is due to cost $26.6 million against the cap in 2020.
• Let’s say, conservatively, Brady could be signed to a two-year deal with a cap charge of $22 million in 2020.

Were the 49ers to hamstring their 2020 cap that dramatically, King wrote, it obviously would prohibit general manager John Lynch from bringing back critical parts of the team’s Super Bowl run, including defensive lineman Arik Armstead, safety Jimmie Ward and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders.

King also noted that moving Garoppolo in such a saturated market for quarterbacks likely wouldn’t bring back the value a player of his talent should command.

“And if the Niners would, say, trade Garoppolo in the midst of one of the most jam-packed QB markets in free-agency history, good luck in getting real value for Garoppolo," King continued. "Finally: Who’s your quarterback on opening day 2022, John Lynch?

"I think, as you can imagine, I am not bullish on the concept, either with Jimmy G staying or Jimmy G leaving. But if this happens, and Garoppolo stays, I would also like to wish the 49ers good luck with the quarterback position counting $49 million on the 2020 cap.”

[RELATED: 49ers should watch these five receivers during the combine]

Even though NFL pundits everywhere took great joy in shredding Garoppolo after his performance in Super Bowl LIV, the 49ers have a quarterback they can believe in.

Someone will put a slipper on Brady’s foot this offseason, but don’t expect Lynch to get down on one knee.

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