Tom Brady not only changed teams this offseason but contemplated a new look with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. During an interview on The Peter King Podcast, Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht revealed that Brady was ready to change his jersey number since Chris Godwin was already wearing No. 12.
“I said, ‘Hey, there’s one other thing. It’s a small thing, but maybe a big thing. We have a number 12 on our team and he’s pretty good, Chris Godwin. What are you thinking about that?’” Licht noted, via Boston.com. “Tom said, ‘Oh, he’s a great player. I’m not going to take his number.’”
Brady initially squashed the notion that he would approach Godwin to request the receiver switch to a different number. Brady was planning to move to No. 7 with the Bucs, a nod to his quest for a seventh championship.
“You know what number I’m thinking of? I’m thinking of taking maybe No. 7,” Licht added. “‘Is that available?’ he goes. I said, ‘Yeah, I think it is. Why seven?’ He goes, ‘Go after that seventh Super Bowl. That’s pretty cool.'”
Godwin Decided to Switch From No. 12 to No. 14
Ultimately, Godwin opted to give up his No. 12 for Brady so we may never see the legendary quarterback wear No. 7. Godwin had a simple answer for why he changed numbers so Brady could keep his TB12 status.
“He’s the GOAT,” Godwin said in March 2020, per ESPN.
Godwin initially had a more hardline stance about keeping his number. The Bucs receiver said he was “definitely going to keep it” if Brady did not ask for the number.
“Obviously if he doesn’t want it, or if he’s not making a big deal out of it, I’m definitely going to keep it,” Godwin previously explained, per ESPN. “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 have to lean into that respect.”
Brady Is Expected to Play Again in 2021
It looks like Godwin is going to have to get used to wearing No. 14 as all indications are Brady has no plans to retire. The number change has worked out for both parties as Godwin finished the season with 65 receptions for 840 yards and seven touchdowns. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Brady plans to play for the Buccaneers again next season.
“Let’s turn the focus on Tom Brady whose birthday comes in August,” Rapoport noted on NFL Network on January 9. “He’s going to be 44 by the start of next season. My understanding is he does in fact plan to play for the 2021 season. Got a two-year contract, plans to honor it. He is loving his time in Tampa Bay. Actually thinks he’ll be better next year with the Bucs.”
Despite a few drops during the playoffs, Brady has stuck with his star receiver and the faith paid off as Godwin made several key catches to help the Bucs advance to the Super Bowl.