New Buccaneers wide receiver Russell Gage was taken aback in free agency when he received a phone call from recently unretired quarterback Tom Brady, who reached out to the former Falcons wide receiver to recruit him to Tampa Bay.
“For a minute, I thought it was a prank, somebody was trying to pull one on me,” Gage said during his introductory press conference on Friday.
“I had just seen some fake news on social media so my mind was kind of on fake news, so then when I got the call it was kind of like, ‘Alright.’ I’m in a state of shock and I’m stuck between, ‘O.K., this is unreal,’ and ‘this is not funny!’ Just trying to navigate my way through that, and then as we got going, I realized, ‘O.K., this is something serious.”
Gage, who has admired Brady his entire career, was excited to receive the phone call from the seven-time Super Bowl champion.
“I had conversations with teams and offers and whatnot, but this was just completely different. This was like no other. It was a huge blessing. I was three years old when tom Brady got into the NFL, so to hear somebody like that, just seeing the other day that he unretired and now he’s reaching out to me? It was unreal.”
Prior to signing his new three-year deal with the Bucs, Gage spent the last four seasons with the Falcons. He recorded 66 receptions for 770 yards and four touchdowns last season.
More NFL Coverage: