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Brock Purdy: 49ers wanted to make Tom Brady the starter in 2023

If a bombshell drops and no one notices it, does it make a sound?

Apparently not.

Last week, buried in a #longread from Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com regarding 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy is something new. Something significant. Something previously unknown that would have dramatically reshaped the 2023 NFL season.

Purdy told Wagoner that the 49ers wanted to sign Tom Brady to be the starting quarterback for 2023.

Here's the quote from the article, which apparently no one noticed when the story dropped on January 16, six days ago.

"Early in the offseason, Niners coach Kyle Shanahan sat down with Purdy and assured him that if he was healthy he would be the starter unless Brady wanted to play one more season for his hometown Niners. . . . 'That meant so much to me,' Purdy said. 'I remember him saying, if we can get Tom Brady, we're going to try to get him. And I was like, "Yeah, he's the GOAT. I get it." But something deep down inside me was sort of like, "Dude, I just showed you that I can play well in this system. And we were one game away from the Super Bowl." ... More than anything, I was like, "OK, now let's go."'"

Credit to MDS for spotting it while looking for something else. No one else apparently has.

And that's on ESPN, frankly. How was that not showcased? How was that not headlined? How was that not one of the top stories on every single show on every single ESPN platform?

Purdy said it himself. It's not something attributed to #sources. He said it. According to Purdy, Shanahan said he'd be the starter unless they could get Brady to play for the 49ers.

Really, it's massive. It would have provided multiple days of content, for ESPN and plenty of other media outlets. Purdy could have been asked about it at his press conference the next day. Shanahan could have been asked about it, too.

In 2020, Brady wanted to play for the 49ers, and the 49ers passed. This time around, the 49ers wanted Brady, and Brady passed.

Not long ago, Brady posted something on social media indicating that he nearly unretired in May. It wasn't clear whether he was joking. Maybe he wasn't. Maybe he almost came out of retirement to play for the 49ers.

Regardless, the 49ers tried. Purdy said so. And ESPN whiffed on a chance to take a break from the non-stop Cowboys beat to spend a lot of time talking about: (1) why the 49ers tried to get Brady; (2) why Brady declined; and (3) what it could mean for Purdy, if the 49ers fail to get to the Super Bowl or win it this year.