The Tampa Bay Buccaneers revealed on Tuesday afternoon newly-signed quarterback Tom Brady's jersey number. He wore No. 12 throughout his 20-year tenure with the New England Patriots, but there were questions about whether this tradition would continue in Florida. The team confirmed that Brady will indeed wear 12 while wide receiver Chris Godwin will switch to No. 14.
With the news that Brady has gotten the number from Godwin, there were immediate questions from the fanbase. Many wanted to know what the veteran QB had given up in order to obtain the numbers. Did he pay for a trip to the Maldives for Godwin or was this a sign of respect? Others were more focused on the upcoming season and whether or not the Buccaneers would reach the playoffs for the first time since 2007 under head coach Jon Gruden.
Of course, not everyone was particularly worried about whether or not Brady was going to wear No. 12 during the 2020 season. They were just happy that the six-time Super Bowl champion was going to be lining up under center and running Bruce Arians' offense.
Brady will be suiting up in a red and pewter jersey that features the number 12. This was a welcome piece of information for some members of the Buccaneers fanbase, but others were not surprised by the latest development.
Whether the number was exchanged after a payoff or simply out of respect was irrelevant for some fans. They fully expected Brady to enter the season with No. 12 while Godwin changed numbers.
godwin rn : pic.twitter.com/KeybcH5U8n— Ben Shaw (@benshaw06) March 31, 2020
Did Brady pay for the jersey number? Godwin told the Buccaneers that he did not name a price. He simply offered the No. 12 to the veteran QB as a sign of respect and didn't ask for anything in return.
There were some fans on Twitter that doubted this story. They believed that the fourth-year receiver had received a nice payoff or promise of future gifts from Brady.
Chris Godwin just the latest living legend to wear No. 14 in Tampa Bay. pic.twitter.com/O46B45jexd— Jeremy Bergman 🆗 (@JABergman) March 31, 2020
The No. 12 jersey is automatically associated with Brady, so it made sense to some fans and sportswriters that he would have this number during the 2020 campaign. However, they also believed that Godwin has the unique opportunity to define a different jersey number.
The No. 14 jersey in red and pewter has primarily been associated with quarterbacks. Vinny Testaverde, Brad Johnson, and Ryan Fitzpatrick all wore the number during their time in Tampa. Now Godwin will be donning the jersey with the goal of finding even more success than the trio of signal-callers.
Did anyone actually think he was gonna change his company to TB14?— Craig Bass (@CraigBass1533) March 31, 2020
With the Buccaneers confirming that Brady would be keeping his No. 12 jersey, there were many fans that commented about how they "knew this would happen." Not many provided explanations for why they believed the QB would be taking his number from Godwin.
One fan, however, mentioned something very important to Brady. The veteran QB is a big fan of branding, as evidenced by him trademarking TB12. He has a company named TB12, which could have been affected by him changing jersey numbers.
If he's smart, he wouldn't charge Brady anything but more targets.— The White Gronko (@WhiteGronko) March 31, 2020
Many football fans believed that Brady had opened up his checkbook in order to acquire No. 12, but there were others that felt Godwin had named a different price. Instead of cash or high-priced dinners, they believe that the young receiver just asked for a lot of attention on the field.
Godwin was drafted in 2017 and has steadily worked his way into a top-shelf receiver. This past season (2019) was his best as a pro considering that he led the team with 1,333 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. Godwin will be a free agent after the 2020 season and could be in line for a massive payday if he and Brady partner for considerable success.
9-7— Michael Vespoli (@MV1681) March 31, 2020
Having Brady under center is providing a major boost in confidence for the Buccaneers fans. They are already predicting that the Florida franchise will be hosting Super Bowl LV, which will be held in Tampa.
Other football fans are far less convinced of this future success. One Ravens fan said that the Buccaneers will go 8-8 and miss the playoffs while other Twitter users simply predicted fewer than 10 wins.
WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THE NEW UNIFORMS— Ali Emami (@AzEmami_19) March 31, 2020
Brady will be wearing the No. 12 jersey, but what will this look like? The Buccaneers have been teasing their new threads for weeks but haven't provided a full glimpse to their fans.
There were many that wanted to make it very clear that they have just been waiting for the uniform reveal. Having Brady's number unveiled was far less of a priority for them.
(Photo Credit: Al Pereira/Getty Images)