Montana vs. Brady -- The jury is still out

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Montana vs. Brady -- The jury is still out

Programming Note: Watch the game live, Sunday at 3 p.m. on NBCSports.com. Pregame simulcast will kick off at 11 a.m.

In a debate over the all-time greats at the quarterback position, Super Bowl and playoff statistics carry much more weight than the regular season.

That's why Joe Montana is widely considered the best quarterback in NFL history. It's also why many are saying Patriots star Tom Brady is poised to surpass the 49ers legend.

Here are the facts:

Playoff record
Joe Montana: 16-7
Tom Brady: 16-5
Edge: Brady
Super Bowl wins
Joe Montana: 4
Tom Brady: 3
Edge: Montana
Super Bowl appearances
Joe Montana: 4
Tom Brady: 5 (including Sunday vs. the Giants)
Edge: Brady
Super Bowl MVPs
Joe Montana: 3 (Jerry Rice won the other)
Tom Brady: 2 (Deion Branch won the other)
Edge: Montana

Playoff Statistics
Joe Montana: 23 games, 63 percent, 5,772 yards, 45 TD (2 rush), 21 INT, 95.6 QB rating
Tom Brady: 21 games, 63, 5009 yards, 39 TD (3 rush), 19 INT, 87.6 QB Rating
Edge: Montana

Super Bowl statistics
Joe Montana: 68, 1142 yards, 13 TD (2 rush), 0 INT, 122.5 QB Rating
Tom Brady: 64, 1001 yards, 7 TD, INT, 94.9 QB Rating
Edge: Montana

If the Patriots win on Sunday and Brady is named the Super Bowl MVP, he will have the same number of both Super Bowl victories and Super Bowl MVPs as Montana, and will surpass him in career playoff victories.

I know this may be blasphemous in these parts, but it might be time to consider the fact that Tom Brady could wind up going down as the greatest QB in history.

Take a deep breath before you start calling me four-letter words.

I am not saying that Brady is better than Montana. I'm saying that he's four masterful quarters away from being in the center of the discussion.

The 34-year-old Brady (turns 35 on Aug. 3) just turned in a season where he completed almost 66 percent of his passes for 5,235 yards and 39 touchdowns.

With the way the modern rulebook protect quarterbacks, combined with the fact that Brady and Belichick possess the definition of a "killer's mentality," there's no reason to think Brady won't put up staggering numbers for as many as six more seasons.

And there's no reason to believe Brady won't get back to at least one, if not multiple Super Bowls.

Trust me, I wish that Justin Smith and Patrick Willis were wreaking havoc on Brady in Indianapolis this Sunday and that that the 49ers had the opportunity to keep Brady at bay from Montana. But we don't live in a perfect world.

If we did, the 49ers would have drafted Brady in 2000 instead of Giovanni Carmazzi, and San Francisco might have eight or nine Lombardi trophies on the mantle, instead of five.

Instead, we have to live with the fact that Brady, who grew up in San Mateo worshipping the 49ers and Joe Montana, would probably love nothing more than to rack up six or seven Super Bowls and five or six Super Bowl MVPs en route to being considered the greatest quarterback of all-time.

I'm not saying it's going to happen or want it to happen. But it could ...

Check back Monday morning.

Agent: 49ers to re-sign running back DuJuan Harris

Agent: 49ers to re-sign running back DuJuan Harris

PHOENIX – Free-agent running back DuJuan Harris will re-sign with the 49ers, his agent said.

Harris, 28, appeared in 10 games for the 49ers last season with one start. He rushed for 138 yards on 38 attempts. He also caught eight passes for 115 yards.

Harris has also seen time with Jacksonville, Green Bay and Seattle in his four-year NFL career.

The 49ers did not tender Harris as a restricted free agent, but agent Andy Simms revealed his client will re-sign with the 49ers via Twitter. Wide receiver Jeremy Kerley and defensive lineman Chris Jones are the only other free agents the 49ers have re-signed.

Bruce Allen: Kirk Cousins will play for Washington in 2017

Bruce Allen: Kirk Cousins will play for Washington in 2017

PHOENIX – Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins will continue to be Washington’s quarterback for the 2017 season, according to team president Bruce Allen.

“That’s why we franchised him, yes,” Allen said during an interview with CSN Mid-Atlantic at the NFL owners meetings.

Cousins and Washington did not reach agreement on a multi-year contract extension before the start of the free-agent signing period. Washington tagged Cousins as the organization’s exclusive franchise player, taking him off the free-agent market for any interested clubs, such as the 49ers.

Cousins is set to earn $23.94 million in 2017, unless the sides agree to a new deal before the July 15 deadline. The price for Cousins to be franchised again in 2018 would be $34.47 million.

"We’ve had a lot of dialogue," Allen said. "He signed his tender. Obviously, we have an option for the ’18 season. Our goal from the beginning has been long term. I'm still hopeful and confident we'll do it."

The 49ers with new coach Kyle Shanahan are expected to be interested in Cousins, but there have no trade talks with any teams, Allen said. Shanahan was Washington's offensive coordinator under his father, then-head coach Mike Shanahan, for Cousins' first two NFL seasons.

"I can't keep up with the rumors," Allen said. "Kirk and I have talked almost a dozen times this offseason, and we get to laugh when we hear these different rumors. We haven't talked to anyone."