Tom Brady’s presence on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers appeared to have made the team more attractive for guys like Leonard Fournette, Julio Jones and even Rob Gronkowski to join him over the last three years.
However, Brady admitted he did not see it that way.
The seven-time Super Bowl winner said he believed players are coming to Tampa Bay to play for the team, not to play with him.
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“Naturally I’m an older player, and I’ve been very fortunate to know a lot of guys. Guys choose this team because of the team, not because of me,” Brady said Monday at training camp.
“We have a great organization, great teammates and I think people are excited to come join a great group of people and great group of men. It’s never about one person – it has never been what this sport has been about. It’s the ultimate team sport and I love playing with players that our professional, players that want to work hard and players that put the team first.”
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Brady will be 45 years old once he takes the field for Week 1 against the Dallas Cowboys.
The team added Jones and Russell Gage to their receiving corps and signed Kyle Rudolph in hopes of adding another weapon following Gronkowski’s retirement.
“They’re all working hard. Obviously, we’ve got a lot of really great professionals that have great work ethics and know how to play the game,” Brady said of his receivers. “Those guys are coming out to work every day, so there are tough conditions out here – not a lot of wind, and it’s just pretty hot, and you have to gear up every day for it.”
Brady had one of the best seasons of his career in 2021. He had a career-high 5,316 passing yards. He added 43 touchdown passes as well. He led the league in both categories.
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The Buccaneers’ run ended in the playoffs against the Los Angeles Rams. Brady announced his retirement a few days later but would later reverse it.