Former NFL general manager Mike Tannenbaum knows a thing or two about getting an aging superstar quarterback to come to his franchise. He also knows how an organization can lose that caller just as quickly. Based on that experience, Tannenbaum recently told Dan Patrick how the San Francisco 49ers can sign Tom Brady to play for the team in 2022.
Mike Tannenbaum signed Brett Favre to the New York Jets in 2008 and lost him in 2009
After 12 years in the NFL offices, Mike Tannenbaum became the New York Jets general manager in 2006. He took charge of a team that went 4-12 the previous year and helped transform the team on the playoff team in his first season in charge.
Another 4-12 season followed, so Tannenbaum signed hapless Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre to replace Chad Pennington.
Favre only played one season in New Jersey. He made the Pro Bowl but only led the team to a 9-7 record. During the 2009 offseason, the Minnesota Vikings — the team Favre wanted to play for when he left the Packers — signed the then 39-year-old setter, and he left the Jets.
A decade later, Tom Brady’s situation played out somewhat similarly (albeit with much better results).
After a legendary career with the New England Patriots, Brady ended up not joining the team considered his first choice. His boyhood club, the San Francisco 49ers, had a starting QB in 2020, and Brady “settled” for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Now Brady is “retired” but continues to leave the door open to return for one more season. If he decides to return, the 49ers would make a lot of sense. And Tannenbaum knows exactly what the Bay Area organization should do to recruit him.
Tannenbaum explained what the San Francisco 49ers need to do to get Tom Brady
Mike Tannenbaum joined Dan Patrick on the Dan Patrick Show to discuss all quarterback moves in the league. After talking about Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson, Patrick asked Tannenbaum if he thought Tom Brady was definitely “done.”
Tannenbaum replied, “No, I don’t.”
The former general manager explained that Brady can still play at a high level and is an incredible competitor. Patrick went on to ask if Tannenbaum worked for the San Francisco 49ers, how would he get Brady out of retirement:
It’s easy. I am relentless. I say, ‘This is your inheritance. It’s your hometown. And we’ll talk in Tampa Bay. You tell them you’re not gaping to play there. I experienced that, unfortunately, because what happened was that Favre said to himself: ‘Listen, I want to play for another year, and I don’t want to play here anymore’… If I were the 49ers, I would call Joel Glazer, the owner of the Buccaneers, and just say, “He’s not playing there anymore.” We want to sign him for another year and we’ll give you something.
Mike Tannenbaum on Tom Brady and Brett Favre
Patrick asked if head coach Bruce Arians and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wouldn’t let him go because Arians are showing up.
Tannenbaum told the host he went through the same process with Brett Favre, considering holding him back and not allowing him to leave. He went on to explain that where he settled at the time was that if the player wants to play, getting something for them is best for the franchise.
This is how the 49ers can learn from the Favre/Jets/Vikings situation and possibly land Brady for 2022.
San Francisco 49ers: With and without Tom Brady
The San Francisco 49ers had the AFC Championship game with Jimmy Garoppolo at QB in 2021. With a healthy Tom Brady, assuming his ability doesn’t fall off a cliff (which is possible at 44 years), the 49ers have the talent to be a Super Bowl team.
The team has a great offensive line, a creative running game and one of the league’s most dangerous weapons in Deebo Samuel. The 49ers also have an excellent defense led by Nick Bosa.
If Brady returns “home” to San Francisco, he won’t just be leaving for a farewell tour. He will win an eighth Super Bowl.
If Brady doesn’t come, what?
With the quarterback carousel spinning wildly this week, Jimmy G is one of the hottest names right now. There will definitely be a bidding war for his services and ultimately the Niners will get an offer they can’t refuse.
That means without Brady or Garoppolo, the starting QB duties in 2022 will fall to the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Trey Lance. During his rookie season, the QB went 41 of 71 (57.7%) for 603 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions. Lance also ran for 168 yards and a score.
They’re not Super Bowl QB numbers, but he brings an extra layer of dynamism to Coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense with his run. If he can make the leap from rookie to potential starter — or even star — between freshman and sophomore, the Niners have a chance.
However, without Brady in the mix, a breakout year from Lance is the only way the team can make some noise in the NFC again.
All statistics courtesy of Professional Football Reference
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