New team, same number. Tom Brady won’t have to change his jersey number when he suits up for the Buccaneers next season.
The quarterback, who has spent the past 20 seasons with the Patriots wearing No. 12, signed with Tampa Bay two weeks ago. The only problem? His No. 12 jersey was already taken by wide receiver Chris Godwin.
At first, Godwin thought he might keep his number.
“Obviously, if [Brady] doesn’t want it or isn’t making a big deal about it, I’m definitely going to keep it,” Godwin said earlier this month in an interview posted to the team’s official website. “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?”
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Godwin has worn 12 since high school, and he frequently uses the hashtags “TwelfthAve” and “12szn” in his posts on social media.
When a player signs with a new team and his previous jersey number is already taken, there is often a negotiation between those two players with gifts or money exchanged — but Brady and Godwin reached an agreement for free, according to the team.
The Bucs tweeted out the official number change on Tuesday and revealed that Godwin would switch to No. 14.
Godwin celebrated the number swap with an altered image on Instagram of him embracing his new quarterback.
New number, same mentality ! 😤 #ItsAlways12szn #1fo
A post shared by G Baby (@chrisgodwin) on
Brady later responded to the post: “Much Appreciated — Very Grateful — Humbled And ready to get to work!!!”
And when asked why he gave up his jersey number for free, Godwin had a simple answer, per ESPN: “He’s the GOAT.”
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