The question was patently absurd and yet San Francisco 49ers General Manager John Lynch reportedly could not help but ask because it almost never, ever hurts to ask.
According to Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer, Lynch spoke with the New England Patriots representatives in the offseason about trading for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. At the time, the Patriots told Lynch he was off limits. Lynch called back and inquired of Coach Bill Belichick: What about Tom Brady? Might you trade him and keep Garoppolo?
“Belichick just said, ‘What did you just ask me?’” Glazer reported Sunday. “[Lynch] said, ‘I’m asking if you’d trade us Tom Brady, [since] you said Garoppolo is off-limits. [Belichick] said, ‘Did you just ask me if I’d trade Tom Brady? … Did you just ask if I’d trade the greatest quarterback of all time?’ And John said, ‘So is that a no?’ ”
Evidently, since Garoppolo ended up in San Francisco, traded for a second-round draft pick last week, and Brady was lounging on a Bahamian beach during the bye week.
The Patriots, who are 6-2 and winning with mirrors, duct tape, Brady and Gronk, returned from their break and Brady was left to address the surprising trade of the future QB and a report that owner Robert Kraft had stepped in to ensure that Brady finished his career in New England. Something had to give and it was clear that the Patriots were willing to take a short-term gamble on a 40-year-old and a long-range one on losing Garoppolo.
“I think it’s the way it has always been,” Brady told WEEI’s “Kirk and Callahan” show Monday. “I think he is a great coach and there is obviously no coach I would rather play for. I love playing for this team and I’ve tried to do it for a long time and I have done it for a long time. I enjoy doing it and hopefully I can do it for a long time.”
Last week, Belichick hinted on a conference call that he considered Brady, who is in his 17th season, as year-to-year. Although only a breakup with Gisele Bündchen might be more a more stunning possibility, Brady said he was fine with that approach.
“I think every player is year-to-year in the NFL,” he said. “Any player, any coach. I don’t know. Anything changes year-to-year. I think we have learned that about the NFL. Something seems great and maybe it’s not. Someone is gone and someone is there. Referees change. Training staffs change. Everything changes in the NFL all the time. I don’t think change is out of order. If any player or coach — it’s just the NFL.
“I think you have to be able to adapt to change and who is able to adapt to the change usually has the best season and the most successful season. Things change over the course of the season. Injuries change and situations change in the game. I think so much is adaptability and you have to adapt and still focus on what is in your control and what you bring to the table in order to be successful day-after-day, week-after-week, year-after -year. We see teams that do so well one year and don’t do well the next year. Our team has been so consistent, and I think we have done a great job of adapting to who is there, what situation we are in. It doesn’t look great from week-to-week, but ultimately the goal is to win the game and we have done a pretty good job of doing that.”
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