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Chris Godwin opens up about relinquishing No. 12 to Tom Brady

It didn’t take long for Chris Godwin to read the writing on the wall about having little choice but to give up his No. 12 jersey once the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed Tom Brady back in March. While the Bucs wideout knew it was the right — and perhaps only — thing to do, it does not mean it wasn’t without some regret.

Godwin initially expressed some interest in keeping No. 12, which he was worn since high school. Of course, he ultimately relented in understandable deference to a six-time Super Bowl champion and one of the best players in NFL history.

This week, Godwin opened up about surrendering his No. 12 jersey to the widely accepted G.O.A.T., who of course was appreciative of the gesture from the wide receiver and debuted his new Bucs jersey last week.

“I have been wearing No. 12 since high school and it means a lot to me,” Godwin said on The Checkdown. “At first it bothered me a little bit, it was kind of getting at me because it is part of my identity, but when the G.O.A.T. comes calling you kind of concede to him. Like I said, hopefully I can get a ring or two or three out of that. I was more than happy to do it.”

Godwin will transition to wearing the No. 14 jersey next season, and he unsurprisingly is thrilled to see Brady join the team. Further, Godwin cannot wait to see what Brady can do in the Bucs’ offense under the guidance of head coach Bruce Arians and a potentially lethal passing attack that is headlined by himself, Mike Evans and newcomer Rob Gronkowski.

“We have a chance to really make something shake here,” Godwin said. “We’re going to go all-in and we’re going to really go for it.”

The Buccaneers went from a team with some potential to what many view as a legitimate Super Bowl contender thanks to Brady’s arrival. That being said, it’s not a lock that Brady excels in his age-43 season, although skeptics would be wise not to prematurely count out the legendary signal-caller.