Brock Purdy and Tom Brady have two very different outlooks on the 49ers' pursuit of the seven-time Super Bowl champion.
But 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan It was confirmed to Peter King of NBC Sports He told Purdy that he would be San Francisco's starter for the 2023 NFL season only if the team couldn't lure Brady back home to the Bay to end his legendary career.
“I'm glad you asked me that question,” Shanahan told King. “Yes, I was serious about it. As we talked, I was looking at Brock, and he's got his arm in a sling, and I'm not really sure I have a quarterback that's going to be ready to start the 2023 season.
“That started it all.”
Purdy underwent offseason surgery to repair a torn UCL in his right elbow that he suffered in San Francisco's bruising NFC Championship loss to the Philadelphia Eagles last January.
After taking over at quarterback for injured Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance, all signs led to Purdy being the right guy for 2023. And while that was true, there was one exception.
Despite the news that his starting job might be in jeopardy, Purdy used the conversation he had with Shanahan as motivation.
“It means a lot to me,” Purdy said. ESPN Nick Wagner Advance this month. “I remember [Shanahan] Saying if we can get Tom Brady, we'll try to get him. I said: Yes, it is the goat. 'I get it.' But something deep down was kind of like, “Dude, I just showed you that I can play well in this system.” We were one game away from the Super Bowl. …And most of all, I was like, 'Okay, now let's go.' “
For Shanahan, lighting that fire under Purdy was intentional.
“I actually thought that was a huge compliment to Brock,” Shanahan said. “I told him he's our guy long-term. No doubt. And if Tom Brady wants to come here and start for one year, that's the only way you're not going to start when you're healthy this year. That's great. I wanted to assure him: Don't worry.” “You're our guy. But how cool would it be if Tom Brady was the quarterback here for one season? How cool would it be for you to learn from him?”
“I mean, if Brock had never gotten hurt, this would never have been a consideration. I would never have brought this up. But I have to think about the team. What if he's not ready in September?”
Brady was also asked about a possible union with the team he grew up on, but he denied the deviance and downplayed the reality of it all.
“I think in football, whether you're a free agent…I've heard a lot of draft stories since I got drafted,” Brady said on ESPN's “Pat McAfee Show” last week. to [Green Bay] Packers at the time,” or “Oh, I was a scout for [Indianapolis] The Colts at that time, and did we take you…' You can look at everything in football and say, 'What if?' But the reality is I'm dealing with what happened and the decisions that were made, whether it was free agency for me, whether it was signing contracts with the company. [New England] Patriots.
“This final season, there were a lot of different things that people would suggest, but I kind of 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 ready to be in the FOX booth next year.”
In the end, things seem to have worked out for all parties involved.
Brady said no. The 49ers signed Sam Darnold. Purdy was officially named the starter. Well, the rest is history.
“Devoted travel trailblazer. Freelance beer scholar. Passionate analyst. Hardcore twitter fanatic.”