Chris Godwin is letting Tom Brady have jersey No. 12 for free

Tom Brady has linked his brand to his jersey number, which he will be keeping as he switches from the New England Patriots to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
(Maddie Meyer / Getty Images)

Chris Godwin could have had a thick wad of extra spending money in his pocket.

Or maybe a nice new watch.

Or at least a lifetime supply of avocado ice cream.

But, no, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver had to be a nice guy and let his new quarterback, Tom Brady, have his jersey number — No. 12 — for free.


Godwin had plenty of leverage. Brady has linked his brand to that number, having trademarked “TB12" numerous times.

Plus, Godwin has started a legacy of his own while wearing that number for the Buccaneers. In the three seasons since they drafted him in the third round, Godwin has caught 179 passes for 2,700 yards and 17 touchdowns. He made the Pro Bowl for the first time last season.

But Godwin hinted last week that Brady’s status as a living legend might sway his decision on the matter.

Tom Brady’s agents filed a trademark application for ‘TB X TB’ on the same day his new team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, used the phrase in a video clip.


“Obviously, if he doesn’t want it or isn’t making a big deal about it, I’m definitely going to keep it,” Godwin told last week. “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?”