The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are looking to add another one of Tom Brady’s former teammates from the New England Patriots. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the Bucs are “inquiring” about Patriots running back James White.
“There are several teams inquiring about Patriots’ free-agent RB James White, including…the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, per source,” Schefter noted on Twitter.
The news comes as Leonard Fournette is being courted in free agency by several teams including the Seahawks and Patriots, per Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. Fournette has received a “strong offer” from the Seahawks, but Brady is doing his best to keep him in a Bucs uniform.
“Buccaneers RB Leonard Fournette is weighing an offer to remain in Tampa (Brady is recruiting him back), but the Seahawks have made a strong bid to poach him,” Breer tweeted. “Stylistically, Seattle would be an interesting fit. …The Patriots are also lurking as another option for Leonard Fournette. Which is interesting … given who they’d be taking him from.”
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Brady Recently Described White as ‘Fiercely Competitive’
Brady is a big fan of White and took to Twitter to offer his support to his former teammate last September after the tragic death of his father. The Buccaneers quarterback described White as “fiercely competitive” in a lengthy Twitter message.
“So heartbroken to hear the news of the tragedy of my great friend and forever teammate @SweetFeet_White,” Brady tweeted on September 20. “There are few people that come into your life that do EVERYTHING the right way. …James is one of them. Kind, gentle, loving, fiercely competitive and hardworking. His parents raised an amazing son. And we are all grieving with James as he is going through this difficult time. Love you my friend.”
White has been used more in the Patriots passing game than as a traditional rusher during his seven seasons in New England. The Pats running back had 49 receptions for 375 yards and a touchdown in his 14 appearances last season. White also added 35 carries for 121 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
The Bucs Are Not Expected to Be Extremely Active in Free Agency
The Buccaneers have been active in keeping their own free agents, but the team is not expected to be as aggressive with other available players. Heading into the offseason, Bucs head coach Bruce Arians admitted he did not expect the franchise to spend a lot of energy signing free agents who were not wearing a Tampa Bay uniform last season.
“If (the money) is close, I think our guys really want to stay,” Arians said, per Tampa Bay Times. “They know they have something special; I don’t think any of them want to leave. I don’t get involved in the dollars, I just let them know we want them back, and then they want to be back. So hopefully we can get everything done and keep our guys.”
Arians’ words have proven to be true with the Buccaneers already re-signing a number of key players including Chris Godwin, Shaq Barrett, Lavonte David and Rob Gronkowski. There still may be veteran free agents who want to team up with Brady in their quest to win back-to-back Super Bowls. Back in February, NFL Network’s James Palmer noted on the DNVR Three Ring Circus podcast that there is a fear around the league about the Bucs potentially forming a “super team” thanks to the shrinking salary cap.
“There’s people around the league that I talk to that think there’s going to be some super teams attempted to be put together for one year because of this style of where the cap is,” Palmer explained. “Guys are going to take less money and go play with Tom Brady in Tampa for one season and then we get back on track and then they’re going to ask for their regular money [after the 2021 season].”