Tampa, Fla. — Tom Brady will be wearing a new uniform this fall, but his trademark No. 12 jersey number will remain the same as he begins a new chapter with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Brady, whose No. 12 has been synonymous with his two-decade career with the Patriots and is included as part of his “TB12” brand, has received his old number from wide receiver Chis Godwin, who has worn the number over his three-year pro career with the Bucs.
Godwin offered Brady the number without any negotiation, according to Buccaneers.com. He wanted to hand it off out of respect to the six-time Super Bowl winner.
“I know everybody likes to say you gotta get something,” Godwin told Complex Sports. “But, for me, it’s more like a respect thing. I have a lot of respect for Tom and what he’s done in this league. Talking to him, briefly, he seems like he’s a really down-to-earth dude. I’m not the type to go looking for something. If he wants the number, then I’ll defer that to him. Don’t get it twisted, if he don’t ask for it. … “
Godwin will now wear No. 14.
Godwin has worn No. 12 dating back to high school and said he’d still want to keep a lower number, that he didn’t see himself as a guy who would wear a number in the 80s like most receivers.
“Whatever number I go to would just be completely different,” Godwin said on The Boardroom last week.
As soon as Brady signed with the Bucs, there were questions about how he’d acquire No. 12 from Godwin, who is coming off a Pro Bowl season in which he ranked third in the NFL in receiving yards (1,333) and touchdown receptions (nine), though it seemed clear early on that Godwin was willing to give up the number to Brady.
Among the most interesting deals NFL players have made to get their preferred jersey numbers: Giants quarterback Eli Manning gave punter Jeff Feagles and his family a vacation to Florida for No. 10, Deion Sanders bought cornerback Alundis Brice a BMW to ensure he could wear No. 21 when he joined the Cowboys.
And when the Bucs acquired cornerback Darrelle Revis in 2013, he paid Mark Barron $50,000 to get his No. 24.
The No. 12 has been worn by several notable Bucs players, including Ring of Honor member Doug Williams, as well as Trent Dilfer and Luke and Josh McCown.
Bucs who have worn No. 14 include Vinny Testaverde, Brad Johnson and Ryan Fitzpatrick. John Franklin III wore No. 14 in the Bucs’ final game of last season.
NFL vice president Troy Vincent has sent a letter to several prospects inviting them to participate “live” in the NFL draft in three weeks.
The AP obtained the letter sent by the league’s football operations chief to prospective early selections in the draft, which will be held remotely on April 23-25 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We hope that you will start your NFL journey with us as part of the NFL family,” Vincent wrote. “At this time, we are working on the plan for draft. As you can imagine, it is a bit of a moving target with all that is going on.
“We are contemplating several options that we will be communicating to you once details are confirmed. We want to ensure that you and your family stay safe while we develop the best way to give you a great experience and highlight your accomplishments as you are drafted into the NFL.”
Vincent asked the players not to publicize the invitation.
In recent drafts, first-round selections were announced by Commissioner Roger Goodell. Then followed hugs involving players and Goodell — some of them comical — and photo sessions with the players wearing team ball caps or even showing off team jerseys. Often their families and friends would get involved in the celebrations.
This year, with all public events at the planned site of Las Vegas canceled and the draft set to proceed remotely, players will likely be at their homes when their names are called.
Disgruntled Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue made another public plea to be traded.
Ngakoue said in a Twitter post, “why hold a man from taking care of his family. It’s obvious my time is up in my current situation.”
... The Seahawks cleared a chunk of salary cap space by waiving safety Tedric Thompson and releasing veteran tight end Ed Dickson.
... The Jets and backup quarterback David Fales agreed to terms on a one-year contract.
... The Rams re-signed defensive back Donte Deayon to a one-year contract.
... The Bengals released starting cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick.
... The Browns agreed to a two-year, $5.75 million contract with defensive end Adrian Clayborn, a person familiar with the situation confirmed.
Associated Press contributed.