New England Patriots

November 20, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) during the first quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium. The Patriots defeated the 49ers 30-17. (Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports)

By Ty Anderson,

Another potential suitor for soon-to-be free agent quarterback Tom Brady has reportedly exited the picture, as the 49ers have officially passed on the idea of signing Brady in free agency, according to Chris Simms.

Simms’ rumor comes on the heels of the Titans signing Ryan Tannehill to a four-year extension worth almost $120 million, and according to Simms, leaves Brady’s real suitors down to just the Patriots and Buccaneers.

While Simms’ takes are often met with a scoff-and-eyeroll around these parts, it’s not hard to imagine him being right this time around — at least when it comes to the 49ers passing on throwing everything out the window for the hometown Brady — as the 49ers have a ton invested in former Brady backup Jimmy Garoppolo, and were just one Super Bowl win shy of winning it all in Garoppolo’s first full season as San Francisco’s starter. Signing Brady, who is 14 years older than Garoppolo, may have given San Fran a slight boost in the now (and likely completed a childhood dream of Brady), but it would also require some serious upheaval of Kyle Shanahan’s offense and for such a short window in the grand scheme of things.

But if Simms is right about Brady’s suitors being down to just the Bucs and Patriots, that would mean that the Chargers (and potentially the Raiders) have different plans at quarterback, and that Brady’s decision would essentially come down to taking a chance on bringing the Bucs back to relevancy or returning to the team he’s called his own for the last two decades. The Bucs, for what it’s worth, haven’t been shy about their potential interest in talking to Brady in free agency, and are said to be ‘all in’ on actually signing the 42-year-old Brady in free agency, according to the Tampa Bay media.

The league’s legal tampering period begins at noon on Monday, Mar. 16.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.