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Chris Godwin gives up jersey No. 12 to Tom Brady, free of charge

Bucs wide receiver Chris Godwin gave up his jersey number to new quarterback Tom Brady. If you’re thinking of drafting Chris Godwin, this could bode well for getting more looks in the passing game!

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans is congratulated by wide receiver Chris Godwin after catching a pass for a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons during the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Last season, wide receiver Chris Godwin had a breakout season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, leading the team with 86 receptions, 1,333 yards and nine touchdowns. Teammate Mike Evans slipped a bit from 2018, and came in second with 67 receptions for 1,157 yards and eight touchdowns.

Even if Evans takes a step forward from 2019, Godwin has taken a critical step to ensure he’s got the attention of new Bucs quarterback Tom Brady. On Tuesday, the Bucs announced that Godwin has given up his No. 12 jersey to Brady and will switch to No. 14.

More notably, there was no transaction involved. Normally a player will give money or a gift to another player to get their number. However, Godwin had indicated shortly after the Bucs signed Brady that he was comfortable giving up No. 12 for no cost.

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

Brady has arguably the best wide receiver duo at his disposal that he has had throughout his 20-year NFL career. He’ll have plenty of passes to distribute to Godwin and Evans, and we can expect tight end O.J. Howard to see a bump in production as well. Godwin and Evans should both have huge seasons once again, but if you’re considering the two receivers in fantasy drafts later this summer, Godwin’s jersey decision might be a useful tiebreaker.