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Tom Brady was prepared to make a change if necessary when he joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the 2020 offseason: play out the year with a new number.
Brady had played as No. 12 throughout his entire career with the New England Patriots and built a successful business off of that — TB12.
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Coming into the season, wide receiver Chris Godwin had that number. Godwin said in March that if Brady didn’t want the number he was going to keep it, but “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.”
Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht opened up Wednesday about Brady changing his number. Licht told NBC Sports’ Peter King of his conversation with Brady.
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“One other thing about that conversation that I’ve never talked about was after we had talked and we knew that this was going to happen, I said, ‘Hey, there’s one other thing here. Uh, it’s a small thing, but maybe a big thing: We have a number 12 on our team, and he’s pretty good, in Chris Godwin,” Licht said.
Brady was insistent on not taking Godwin’s number at first, according to Licht. But he had a number to play with just in case.
“You know what number I’m thinking of? I’m thinking of taking maybe number seven. Is that available?” Licht said Brady asked. “He goes, ‘Go after that seventh Super Bowl.’ He goes, ‘That’s pretty cool.’”
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Brady is indeed in line for his seventh Super Bowl title should the Buccaneers defeat the Kansas City Chiefs at Super Bowl LV.
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