Tom Brady told Wes Welker he wanted to sign with the 49ers in 2020, according to Seth Wickersham’s new book

Brady, who grew up just outside San Francisco, wanted to finish his career "where his love of football began."

Julio Aguilar
Tom Brady wanted to return home when he was a free agent in 2020.

When Tom Brady became a free agent for the first time in his career in 2020, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers weren’t his first choice.

In his new book “It’s Better To Be Feared,” which details the 20 years of the Patriots’ dynasty, ESPN’s Seth Wickersham writes that Brady wanted to return home and finish his NFL career with the San Francisco 49ers.

Brady’s showed initial interest in the 49ers shortly after they lost to the Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV. The quarterback reportedly reached out to one of his former receivers – Wes Welker, who currently works as the 49ers receivers coach – to tell him he wanted to play in San Francisco.

In an excerpt from the book, Brady told Welker that there would be “no free-agency tour, no bidding war, full stop; he would end his career where his love of football began, in scarlet and gold, allowing his parents to drive to (his) games for the first time since the 1990s,” if the 49ers wanted him.


Brady, a native of San Mateo, California, has widely shared his appreciation of the 49ers and his admiration of Joe Montana from when he was growing up.

After the 49ers heard of Brady’s interest, head coach Mike Shanahan and each of his offensive assistants looked at every throw Brady made in the 2019 season. While they liked what they saw from Brady, the 49ers thought he wasn’t that much better than Jimmy Garoppolo, who was the 49ers’ quarterback in 2019, Wickersham reported via NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco.

Ultimately, the 49ers passed and Brady made his way to the Buccaneers. So far, it’s worked out for Brady as he won the Super Bowl in his first year in Tampa. He might not have had that same success in San Francisco last season. The 49ers were riddled with injuries on both sides of the ball, losing star players such as Greg Kittle, Nick Bosa, Richard Sherman, and Solomon Thomas for much of the season.

Other tidbits from Wickersham’s new book were released as well, including the moment when Brady told Patriots owner Robert Kraft that he wasn’t returning to New England.

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