When Tom Brady signed a two-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, there were immediate questions about his jersey number. The six-time Super Bowl champion has worn No. 12 since entering the NFL as a sixth-round pick, but wide receiver Chris Godwin already had laid claim to the jersey. The two new teammates reached an agreement and Brady will now continue to wear No. 12.
The Buccaneers revealed the number on Tuesday afternoon, clarifying that Brady can still be referred to as "TB12." Godwin, meanwhile, will switch to No. 14. The 42-year-old quarterback arguably made the number famous during his first 20 seasons in the league, which included nine trips to the Super Bowl. He is viewed as the most famous "12" in sports.
With the number switching players, there were questions about what Brady did to convince Godwin to hand 12 over. Number swaps have been routine throughout NFL history and often involve high-priced vacations or fancy steak dinners.
However, Brady did not have to send Godwin and his loved ones to Disney World or buy him a new car. The team's leading receiver from 2019 actually offered No. 12 to the veteran quarterback as a sign of respect.
"Obviously, if he doesn't want it or isn't making a big deal about it, I'm definitely going to keep it," Godwin told Buccaneers team reporter Casey Phillips. "But we'll see how that goes. I think just out of respect for what he's done, what he's accomplished, just kind of the career he's built for himself…you've got to kind of lean into that respect, you know?"
With Brady keeping his now-iconic number, Godwin will switch to a number that has previously only been worn by quarterbacks in Tampa Bay, outside of one game featuring cornerback John Franklin. Vinny Testaverde, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Brad Johnson all wore No. 14 while lining up under center, but Godwin will be donning the jersey while catching passes from Brady.
Now that the number questions have been cleared up, Brady and Godwin can focus on partnering together for big plays throughout the 2020 campaign. Along with tight end O.J. Howard and receiver Mike Evans, this offense is expected to produce on a weekly basis as the Buccaneers seek to become the first team in NFL history to host the Super Bowl.
The upcoming Big Game, Super Bowl LV, will be held at Raymond James Stadium. This is the home of the Buccaneers and Brady, and the veteran quarterback has hopes of running onto the field the first weekend in February while wearing a red and pewter No. 12 jersey.
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