Tom Brady talks Purdy and Mahomes and (sort of) addresses 49ers interest last offseason

Tom Brady talks Purdy and Mahomes and (sort of) addresses 49ers interest last offseason

With his 2024 role as a Fox football analyst growing near, six-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback Tom Brady made the rounds this week in separate interviews with ESPN’s Pat McAfee and Colin Cowherd of Fox. In the process, he fielded a few questions about 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy and Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, expressing his respect and admiration for both.

Purdy and Mahomes will square off in Super Bowl LVIII on Feb. 11 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

“Brock’s done a great job with the opportunity,” Brady told McAfee. “He’s got it and he’s taken advantage of it. He was a late-round pick, I know he’s got a chip on his shoulder and he wants to go out every day and prove he’s the right fit for that team. It’s a great organization, I really respect Kyle (Shanahan), Brock’s done a hell of a job.”

The 46-year-old former Serra High quarterback referenced two of his childhood heroes growing up in the Bay Area as a 49ers fan when asked how he felt about Mahomes being anointed in some quarters as the greatest quarterback of all time.

“There’s nothing that Patrick can do that takes away from what I accomplished in my career and there’s nothing that I did that can take away from what he’s trying to accomplish,” Brady said. “I could never be Steve Young. I could never be Joe Montana. I could never be Dan Marino. Or John Elway. These are my childhood heroes and they put as much as they could into their careers and I really respect them for that.

“Believe me, if anyone can go out there and win seven Super Bowls, I have so much respect for them. I understand how difficult it is. I will congratulate them and give whoever it is a big hug.”

Brady lauded Purdy’s come-from-behind performance in a 34-31 win over the Detroit Lions: “You judge games based on a four-quarter performance,” he told Cowherd, “and Brock really showed what he can do in the second half, down against another great team to rally his team and that offense to a great second half for a chance to play for the world championship.”

Mahomes, Brady said, has leadership skills on par with Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers and Brett Favre that are equal to his skill set.

TAMPA, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 07: Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs speak after Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium on February 07, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. The Buccaneers defeated the Chiefs 31-9.(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) 

“Everyone looks at, ‘Oh, it’s a no-look pass,’ ” Brady said. “I look at it, how do his teammates care about him? Do they respond to him? And that happens week in and week out with him. That’s why they’re always the team to beat, because he can play at an elite level and take his teammates with him.”

Brady dodged a question about the 49ers’ interest in him following the 2022 season, with a recent Nick Wagoner story for ESPN reporting that Purdy said he was told Brady was on their radar. Purdy won his first game as a starter against the Bucs and Brady in Week 14.

“I remember (Kyle) saying, ‘If we can get Tom Brady, we’re going to try and get him. And I was like, Yeah, he’s the GOAT. I get it. But something deep inside me was like, Dude, I just showed you 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.’ ”

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Considering Purdy had undergone UCL surgery and was in no way a slam dunk for being ready to play at the beginning of the 2023 season, kicking the tires on the 46-year-old Brady could be seen as due diligence.

Brady would neither confirm nor deny.

“You can take everything in football and say, ‘What if, what if, what if,’ ” Brady said. “The reality is I dealt with what happened and the decisions that were made whether it was free agency, whether it was signing contracts with the Patriots. In the last offseason, there were a lot of things people would suggest. I kind of just kept my mind focused on where I wanted to go and this was a great year for me to sit back and watch and learn and get prepared for being in the Fox booth.”