SAN FRANCISCO — Tom Brady just recently decided to hang them up after an incredible 22-year career in the NFL with seven Super Bowl rings and numerous all-time quarterback records.
But despite that, we're still getting rumblings that the 44-year-old may not be done yet, some of which come directly from him just after his announcement.
Brady and the Tampa Bay Bucs lost to the Rams in the playoffs this past season and then Brady, to the surprise of many, decided it was time for him to end his NFL playing career. Although, as the conspiracy theorists have pointed out, he didn't use the word "retired."
Does he have one more storybook chapter left? And what would that look like?
On Friday's Peacock and Williamson NFL Show, a daily podcast from the Locked On Podcast Network, analysts Brian Peacock and Matt Williamson discussed a scenario being thrown around.
As Peacock and Williamson cycled through teams that could, should or won't make a quarterback change this offseason, they brought up the San Francisco 49ers and an interesting predicament that could be brewing there.
It has recently been reported that Brady will play himself in "80 for Brady," a football-themed road trip movie set to begin production this spring, according to The Hollywood Reporter, so that could throw a wrench in this whole idea.
"That doesn't sound like somebody that's wearing his should pads on the beach getting ready for another season," Williamson said.
But, indulge us, Peacock says.
"I have a feeling that he is retired, but he wouldn't mind playing one more year for his hometown team, the San Francisco 49ers," Peacock said. "He grew up in the shadow of Candlestick Park, he tried to go to the 49ers a couple of years ago after the Niners Super Bowl run. They decided to stick with Jimmy Garoppolo which was probably the wrong decision."
Flash forward to today, the Niners are trying to trade away Jimmy Garoppolo and likely give the starting job to 2021 No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance. But, his greenness has led some to believe the Niners could look for a short term veteran option.
"If Tom Brady comes back, maybe it's in the summertime, he's done filming his movie and the Niners bring him back for training camp and work out a trade with Tampa or whatever and they put Lance on the shelf for one more year," Peacock said. "I think it's extremely unlikely, but maybe that would be plan A for the 49ers to try to make one more run with Tom Brady. Maybe Tom Brady's only passion to playing one more year would be to finish off in a storybook fashion and win a Super Bowl with his hometown team."
Brady also said himself in an interview right after retiring, "I don't know how I'll feel six months from now." So that certainly didn't slam the door shut on a potential return. But as Williamson points out, the Bucs own his rights.
"The problem with Brady to the Niners is Tampa wants something for him if he leaves, you can't just get him," Williamson said.
"If Tom Brady really wanted to come back, he should've acted as retired as possible and made the Bucs make a financial decision after the June 1 cut day to cut him so he can just sign with whoever he wants. Now, Tampa Bay's going to sit here and say no we're going to play this out and you're going to stay on the reserve/retired list and if you do want to play somewhere, we're going to get something back."
With the Tom Brady fantasy aside, Peacock and Williamson agree that a more likely scenario for the Niners is bringing in a veteran QB to backup Trey Lance like Marcus Mariota or Tyrod Taylor.
Check out the full "QB Carousel Part 1" episode of Peacock and Williamson to get their thoughts on what will happen with guys like Russell Wilson, Kirk Cousins, Kyler Murray, Aaron Rodgers and more this offseason.