Tom Brady successfully recruited a former Patriots teammate out of retirement in 2020. He's trying to do it again in 2021. A year after campaigning for the Buccaneers' acquisition of tight end Rob Gronkowski, who had previously hung up the cleats while playing for New England, Brady joked this week about Julian Edelman also joining him in Tampa Bay. Appearing alongside his ex-Pats teammate on NFL Network's Draft-A-Thon, the reigning Super Bowl MVP argued that Edelman, who retired following a failed physical earlier this month, isn't actually done playing, but rather "too scared" to leave New England for the Bucs.

"We know Julian didn't retire," Brady said with a smile. "Let's be honest. He's just too scared to tell Bill (Belichick) he wants to come to Tampa."

Asked whether there's any actual possibility of a Brady reunion with the Bucs, Edelman mostly laughed off the suggestion.

The veteran wideout, who turns 35 next month, was limited to just six games in 2020 due to a knee injury. He spent his entire 12-year career with the Patriots, who added him as a seventh-round draft pick out of Kent State back in 2009.

Although Brady's influence can't be overstated, especially inside a Bucs organization that's committed to building around the star quarterback for the near future, it's unclear if Edelman would even have a prominent role in Tampa Bay, were he to return. The Bucs have Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, who received the franchise tag this offseason; atop the wide receiver depth chart, and they just re-signed Antonio Brown to serve as the No. 3 target ahead of young reserves Scotty Miller and Tyler Johnson.