The NFL will look a lot different when teams take the field for the first time in August. For one, Tom Brady, who spent 20 years with the New England Patriots, is officially taking his talents to Florida to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The six-time Super Bowl champion has worn the number 12 jersey for his entire NFL career, so naturally one would expect the same when he throws his first touchdown pass in the black and red. His soon-to-be teammate, wide receiver Chris Godwin, is already the owner of the coveted number and revealed on ESPN’s “First Take” Wednesday morning if he’s willing to surrender ownership to keep the TB12 tradition alive.
Via 247 Sports: “I’ve gotten that question a ton so far, but for me it comes down to a lot of respect. I have a ton of respect for Tom and for what he’s done. I’m still establishing myself. Because of that, I’m willing to defer that to Tom. If he really wants it, he can have it. It’s out of respect for him. I’n hoping that when it’s my time and somebody comes up, I get that same respect from the younger guy.”
While it hasn’t been confirmed that Brady will in fact wear number 12, the Buccaneers team shop have already begun selling the 42-year-old’s jersey with the digits clearly printed on the back.
In any case, it didn’t stop some on Twitter from firing off playful jokes surrounding Godwin earning some sort of monetary compensation for relinquishing the number he’s had for the last three seasons.
Godwin and Brady Have Been in Steady Communication
Even before the news became official, word got out that Brady had only asked for one thing prior to joining the Bucs. Surprisingly, it wasn’t the rights to wear number 12. Instead, it was access to the personal information of his new teammates. According to Godwin, Brady has already reached out to his new colleagues in an effort to start a positive relationship.
“I’ve talked to Tom a couple of times now, right before it was official and then when it was actually official, he reached out,” Godwin revealed. “We just chopped it up. We talked about introductions and getting to know each other and starting to build this relationship. It’s going to be a long journey. We’re hoping that it ends the way that it wants to end. We’re planting the seeds now for a successful journey and a successful relationship.
“I’ve paid attention to his offense for a long time. Everyone has slightly different styles and philosophies on how they call things. Football to me is about throwing the ball to the guy that’s open. If he’s open deep, throw it there. If he’s open short you throw it there…you get the ball to the guy who can do something with it. There’s some really talented players here on this offense who have their unique skill sets. I have one ball and I have to be able to deliver that ball to the guy who can do something with it. There’s a lot of ground to make up because I haven’t worked with these players.
“I’m going to have to learn what they do and their body language and how they like things. That’s part of the challenge. It’s unfortunate what’s going in our world and that’s one of the challenges.”
Godwin Reveals Where He’d Like to See Winston End Up
With TB12 headed to Raymond James Stadium, that means that the Jameis Winston era is over in Tampa Bay. The 2019 passing yards leader confirmed his departure via an emotional Twitter post on Saturday.
When asked on “First Take” where he thinks his former quarterback might end up, Godwin said there’s “no doubt” he can see the former Heisman winner calling plays in the AFC West.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s a starter in this league. I wouldn’t mind seeing him with the [Los Angeles] Chargers,” the Penn State product said.
Considering the Chargers (among other teams) are probably still on the hunt for their new franchise guy, that’s not a stretch for the 26-year-old as he enters his prime playing years.