It’s become part of Tom Brady’s legend in New England: Even though he’s been playing in the NFL for years, is a surefire Hall of Famer and arguably the greatest quarterback the league has ever seen, when he gets a new teammate he approaches them in the locker room, hand extended, and introduces himself by name.
For pretty much all of the men on the other side of that interaction, the response, even if it’s only mentally, is “of course I know who you are.”
But Brady’s welcoming stance toward one teammate apparently included an almost unbelievable offer.
‘If I wanted 12, I could get it’
Mohamed Sanu met with media on Friday, after being traded from the Atlanta Falcons to the Patriots earlier this week. The receiver said that he got a direct message from Brady just after the trade.
“He DM’d me when I first got traded, he said welcome and everything like that, how he was excited, and then he said if I wanted 12 I could get it and I was like, ‘nah’,” Sanu said, shaking his head and smiling. “You got that. I’ll change to 14.”
Sanu was asked if he offered Brady anything for his now-iconic number.
“Nooo,” Sanu said. “I just go out there and do my job and let him be great.”
Sanu has worn No. 12 throughout his NFL career, though he wore No. 6 while at Rutgers.
— Evan Lazar (@ezlazar) October 25, 2019
Brady wore No. 10 while at Michigan, but when he was drafted by the Patriots in 2000, it was the property of veteran punter Lee Johnson, and since Brady was a sixth-round pick and the fourth quarterback on the roster, it’s not like he had a lot of sway to get his choice. So he got 12, and it’s probably safe to say when he retires it won’t be worn again in New England.
‘He brings a lot of juice’
Though they haven’t had much time together yet, Brady seemed happy with having Sanu join the Patriots during his Friday news conference.
“It’s his willingness to embrace this opportunity,” Brady said. “He brings a lot of juice. So it’s good to have. It’s good to see someone that’s competitive. If you watch him play, he plays with an attitude. He has a little chip on his shoulder too, so I think we can relate to each other.”
Sanu said practices have been going great.
“Awesome,” he said. “I love it. Me and Tom are having fun out there. ... It’s like we’ve known each other for a while.”
Sanu had 33 catches for 313 yards and a touchdown in seven games (six starts) with the Falcons this season.
More from Yahoo Sports: