New England Patriots

Acquired from the New England Patriots for the palatable price of a second-round draft pick, the San Francisco 49ers may have found what they believe to the answer in former Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

In what’s become an already-debated trade, Garoppolo has emerged as the guy for the 49ers, with a perfect 5-0 record as a starter to go with over 1,500 passing yards and seven touchdowns for the 49ers last season. The Niners have since shown their faith in Garoppolo by signing him to what at the time was the richest contract in NFL history, at $137.5 million over five years.

But that didn’t stop 49ers general manager John Lynch from trying to shoot his shot in his early talks with the Patriots, which included the question that seems straight-up crazy to even think of legitimately asking the Patriots: Is Tom Brady available?

Though reportedly part of the Niners’ discussions with the Patriots, it’s an ask that remained unconfirmed until now, as Lynch confirmed that he indeed asked the question that almost got him hung up on by Patriots coach Bill Belichick.

(Even if it came with Lynch himself admitting that he’s not supposed to talk about such a question.)

“We were calling about Jimmy,” Lynch, appearing on Barstool Sports’ Pardon My Take podcast, said. “And we did have that conversation [about trading for Brady] and got quickly rebuffed. And I figured, what the heck, you gotta take your shot, right? You can’t score if you don’t shoot. So I had to summon up the courage and Bill laughed at me… and basically hung up on me.”

At the time of Lynch’s ask, the Patriots sat at 6-2 (they were in the midst of a four-game win streak that ended after eight straight victories), while Brady had thrown for 2,541 yards with 16 touchdowns and two interceptions. The 41-year-old would ultimately end the year with the league’s Most Valuable Player Award behind a league-leading 4,577 passing yards, finished third in touchdown passes (32), and advanced the Patriots to the Super Bowl for the second straight season.

“But hey, I took my shot,” Lynch said.