Tom Brady Called Out Bucs Star Leonard Fournette

Buccaneers Rumors

Getty Tom Brady did not want Leonard Fournette to sign with the Patriots.

Tom Brady may have been retired to begin the offseason, but the star quarterback did not waste any time with his free agency recruitment for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Running back Leonard Fournette revealed that Brady was recruiting him this spring, shortly after un-retiring. Brady even made a playful jab about his former team when Fournette went to visit the Patriots for a free-agent meeting.

“I was just shopping around, man,” Fournette said of his free agency during a June 7, 2022 press conference. “Just seeing what best fits me and when he signed back, he [Brady] called me like, ‘Man, what’s your a** doing up there [New England], man?’ I’m like, trying to figure some things out. So, he signed back and it was no brainer. Why wouldn’t I go back?”

Ultimately, Fournette did not stay “up there” for long as the rusher signed a three-year, $21 million new contract with the Bucs in March. Tampa Bay also opted not to re-sign Ronald Jones who Fournette battled for lead running back responsibilities since he arrived in 2020 following his release by the Jaguars. Both moves showed the Buccaneers’ long-term faith in Fournette, but the team did use a third-round selection on Rachaad White who is expected to play a complimentary role to the veteran.

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Brady Called Fournette for a Post-Retirement Throwing Session

Fournette also noted that he got a last-minute call from Brady for a throwing session shortly after the quarterback announced he was returning to the football field. The Bucs running back was streaming himself playing a video game when he got the call from Brady that his QB1 needed the running back for a post-retirement throwing session.

“One day Tom called me, he’s like, ‘Man, what are you doing?'” Fournette explained. “I said, ‘I’m on a game.’ I said, ‘You know, something you might not know about.’

“He said, ‘What are you doing?'”

“‘I’m streaming.'”

“He said, ‘You’re streaming?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, people are watching me play the game.’ He said, ‘Well, guess what? I need you here at 7:30 in the morning.'”

“I say, ‘Alright, well.’ I say, ‘I’ll be there, man.’ …Yeah, I was at home playing a game. I guess that’s when he was coming back, and we had to start throwing the ball with each other and things like that.”

Fournette on Brady Un-Retiring: ‘I Kind of Knew’

The Buccaneers running back admitted that he was not surprised when Brady opted to return for the 2022 season. Fournette relayed a conversation he had with Brady after the Bucs’ last-minute playoff loss to the Rams.

“I kind of knew, because I told him, I want to say two days after the game, I’m like, ‘T, we can’t go out like that.'” Fournette recalled. “He agreed with me, like we left too many mistakes on the field that kind of messed us up and was playing catch up the whole game. So, I think as a champion, I knew he wouldn’t want to go out like that for his legacy.”

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