New Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Russell Gage said Friday that when quarterback Tom Brady personally called him Monday night he thought it was somebody messing with him.

“Definitely caught me off guard—for a minute I thought it was a prank”, Gage told reporters Friday, according to ESPN. “He just told me about what they have here in Tampa Bay and that he wanted me to be a part of it, that they have something really special going on. Honestly, he didn’t have to say much. He definitely had me hooked on it after that. … It was definitely special”.

Gage had just talked to his agent and was weighing his options on where to sign next when he received the call from Brady on the first day of the NFL’s legal tampering period.

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Gage said that he got Brady’s call when he was taking out the trash.

The two had no prior relationship, other than facing each other twice a year over the past two seasons. Brady briefly retired from the NFL in early February. On Sunday, he reversed course when he announced his intention to play a 23rd season.

“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, ‘All right’. I’m in a state of shock and I’m stuck between, ‘OK, this is unreal’ and ‘this is not funny!'” Gage said. “Just trying to navigate my way through that, and then as we got going, I realized, ‘OK, this is something serious’.

“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 3 years old when Tom Brady got into the NFL, so to hear from somebody like that, just seeing the other day that he unretired and now he’s reaching out to me? It was unreal”.

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However, midway through the conversation he realized that it was not a prank call.

“I could kind of tell in the delivery that, ‘OK, this is real'”, he said.

Gage spent the first four seasons of his career with the NFC South rival Atlanta Falcons. He has signed a three-year, $30 million contract and is expected to become Tampa Bay’s No. 3 receiver behind Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.