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Tom Brady downplays recruiting: Guys choose the Bucs because of the team, not me

Mike Florio and Myles Simmons assess the options in Tampa Bay, as their new-look offensive line could lose center Ryan Jensen for the season.

The arrival of free agent wide receiver Julio Jones appeared to be the latest example of a veteran player going to Tampa Bay to play with Tom Brady. But Brady doesn’t see it that way.

Brady said he doesn’t believe the players he knows around the league sign with the Bucs just because he’s on the team.

“Naturally, I’m an older player, and I’ve been very fortunate to know a lot of guys,” Brady said. “Guys choose this team because of the team, not because of me. We have a great organization, great teammates, and I think people are excited to come join a great group of people, a great group of men. It’s never about one person. That isn’t ever what this sport is about. It’s the ultimate team sport. I love playing with players that are professional, players that want to work hard, and players that put the team first.”

The reality is, some players who signed with the Buccaneers recently -- and with the Patriots in the past -- have cited Brady’s presence as a reason. But Brady is stressing his role as a teammate, not a recruiter.