Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht says that Tom Brady plays a “huge” role in recruiting talent to Tampa Bay in free agency. Speaking about the advantage of having the seven-time Super Bowl champion on the team’s roster, Licht admitted that he often turns to Brady to help bring in players.

“Oh, it’s huge,” Licht said during a recent press conference. “I think any GM with an established veteran quarterback has an advantage, but when you have Tom Brady as the greatest, it’s even more of an advantage and I’m never going to apologize for using him to help me bring in players for this team.”

Jamie Squire / Getty Images

He added: “If I’m thinking about a player or we are as a staff, I’ll give him a call and see if he can help us out and he’s always willing to do it.”

This year, the Bucs have brought in a pair of veteran stars in Kyle Rudolph and Julio Jones. They’ll be an important presence on the field in the wake of Rob Gronkowski’s recent retirement.

“We’re usually on the same page with that,” Licht said. “We didn’t have to kick too many weeds to find out about Julio Jones. We’ve known about him a while, and Kyle Rudolph was the best tight end that was available. But, we’re usually on the same page. We have a lot of communication – so does Todd [Bowles] and Tom [Brady] and myself. We talk a lot about players.”

After joining the Bucs, Jones spoke about the discussions he had with Brady prior to signing: “I talked to him, I talked to Tom several times but we were just talking, it wasn’t really about coming to Tampa, we were just communicating, you know just feeling each other out I guess, it probably was a tactic, but I don’t know, I’m here.” 

The Buccaneers will begin their 2022 regular season against the Cowboys in Week 1.