A veteran NFL reporter believes Tom Brady could be coaxed out of retirement by his hometown team.
ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio published an article speculating on the possibility of Brady once again coming out of retirement to sign with the San Francisco 49ers. Florio acknowledged that Brady said his recent retirement was "for good," but "sometimes says things he means, and eventually does something different."
"For example, he said years ago that he’ll retire when he sucks. He clearly doesn’t suck," Florio wrote via ProFootballTalk. "While he may not be at his peak abilities, he still has a combination of brain and brawn that allowed him to set a regular-season record for pass attempts and completions."
The 49ers currently face uncertainty at quarterback after former No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance missed the majority of the 2022 season due to a broken ankle, rookie Brock Purdy -- who, like Brady, was a late-round pick thrust into a starting role early in his career -- recently postponed a surgical UCL repair and the team's plan to move on from Brady's former New England Patriots backup Jimmy Garoppolo. Florio speculated that the pieces may finally be falling into place for the hometown Niners to bring in the San Mateo native should he come out of retirement.
"Brady wanted to sign with the 49ers in 2020," Florio wrote via ProFootballTalk. "The 49ers politely declined. Last year, after the Brian Flores lawsuit derailed Brady’s secret plan to join forces with Sean Payton in Miami, there may have been another effort to see if the time was right for Brady to play for the team for which he grew up rooting."
Brady was set to become an unrestricted free agent prior to announcing his retirement earlier this month and could sign with any team if he were to return to playing. The seven-time Super Bowl champion reportedly filed a letter to the National Football League and NFL Players Association reconfirming his retirement decision, on February 10, sources with knowledge of the situation confirmed to ESPN's Adam Schefter at the time.
Brady announced he's "retiring for good" after 23 NFL seasons in a video shared on his official social media accounts on February 1. The 45-year-old had previously announced his retirement last offseason before announcing his decision to return several weeks later.
Brady is set to become FOX Sports' lead NFL analyst beginning after the conclusion of his playing career, but has publicly stated that he won't start until 2024, taking the next year to spend time with his family and prepare for the job. The San Mateo native is the NFL's all-time passing leader for yards and touchdowns, as well as quarterback wins, among numerous other records.