"Brady made it clear through various channels that the team of his childhood would be the team of his future, if the 49ers wanted," Wickersham wrote Sunday. "The 49ers discussed it, but in the end, the team was committed to Jimmy Garoppolo."
Garoppolo played well in his first full season as a starter, totaling 3,978 passing yards and 27 touchdowns while leading the team to a 13-3 record. When he starts, his teams are 21-5 in the regular season and 2-1 in the playoffs.
However, his role with the team was in doubt this offseason considering he attempted just 27 total passes in San Francisco's two playoff wins. He threw two interceptions in the Super Bowl loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, finishing with a 69.2 quarterback rating.
It also wouldn't have been much of a problem to trade Garoppolo with just $4.2 million of dead cap that would remain on his $26.6 million figure for 2020, per Spotrac.
Adding an experienced quarterback like Brady could've been what the 49ers needed to get over the top for a championship, but the front office stuck with its starter.
"We're extremely proud of Jimmy and committed to Jimmy moving forward. He's our guy," general manager John Lynch said in February, per Chris Biderman of the Sacramento Bee. "... He's not come close to hitting his ceiling. The room for growth, the more experience he has in the system, the more experience he gets playing in general, we think the arrow's up and that's a good thing."
It forced Brady to look elsewhere despite having clear interest in joining the title contender.
This wasn't the first time the 42-year-old was connected to the 49ers. In 2017, Patriots coach Bill Belichick reportedly offered Brady to San Francisco in a trade, according to Bleacher Report's Matt Miller.
After owner Robert Kraft shut down those talks, the 49ers ended up with Garoppolo.