April 22 (UPI) -- San Francisco 49ers General Manager John Lynch says the team held internal talks about signing Tom Brady this off-season but chose to keep Jimmy Garoppolo because of their long-term belief in the quarterback.
Lynch spoke of the in-house discussions during an appearance Tuesday on The Rich Eisen Show. The 49ers were one of several teams linked to Brady this off-season before he signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Brady was born and raised in the Bay Area before he played at Michigan and with the New England Patriots. He also considered the Los Angeles Chargers before he joined the Buccaneers.
Lynch said 49ers Coach Kyle Shanahan and Garoppolo knew about the team's interest in Brady.
"When you're talking about one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time with Tom Brady, of course you're going to have some internal discussion," Lynch said. "And then you hear rumors that hey, he'd like to come home, that kind of thing.
"So of course Kyle [Shanahan] and I have discussions. We're always into getting better, so you always look at everything, especially a situation like that. But within a day or two, Kyle and I looked at each other and said, 'You know what, we really like what we have in Jimmy.' We love everything that he brings and we really believe it's a long-term answer. I would tell you we're more convinced than ever about who our quarterback is in Jimmy Garoppolo."
Garoppolo, who backed up Brady for four years in New England, started all 16 games last season for the 49ers. He completed 69.1 percent of his throws for 3,978 yards, 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Though San Francisco was largely dependent on their run game in the playoffs, Garoppolo completed 63.7 percent of his throws for 427 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions in three post-season games.
Brady -- the most decorated quarterback in history -- completed 60.8 percent of his throws for 4,057 yards, 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 16 starts last season. He failed to throw a touchdown and threw an interception in the Patriots' post-season loss to the Tennessee Titans. The six-time Super Bowl champion has a 30-11 playoff record.
"If you start chasing every rumor out there and making a statement on it, then you are doing that all the time," Lynch said of the Brady rumors. "Yes, this was a bigger one, but the important thing was we had talked to Jimmy and told him exactly what I told you."
Lynch said the 49ers have told Garoppolo how he can improve his game, and the second-round draft pick in 2014 embraced the challenge.
"We're as convicted as ever about him being our quarterback and leading this organization into the future," he added.
The 49ers have pick Nos. 13 and 31 in the first round of Thursday's NFL Draft. Lynch said the team is considering player and pick trades.