Tom Brady nearly ditched No. 12 with Bucs - and had a great reason for alternative

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Darren Hartwell
·2 min read
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Tom Brady had a great reason for nearly ditching No. 12 with Bucs originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

We'll admit "TB7" doesn't quite have the same ring to it. But Tom Brady apparently was more willing to part with No. 12 than we thought.

The 43-year-old quarterback kept his New England Patriots uniform number last March after signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, convincing All-Pro wide receiver Chris Godwin to switch from No. 12 to No. 14.

According to Bucs general manager Jason Licht, however, Brady initially wanted to let Godwin keep No. 12 -- because he had another number in mind.

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"After we talked and we knew [Brady was going to sign], I said, 'Hey, there's one other thing here. It's a small thing, but maybe a big thing. We have a No. 12 on our team and he's pretty good — Chris Godwin. What are you thinking about that?' " Licht told NBC Sports' Peter King on King's podcast.

"He said, 'Oh, he's a great player. I'm not going to take his number. You know what number I'm thinking of? I'm thinking of taking maybe No. 7. Is that available?' "

Why would Brady -- who wore No. 10 at Michigan -- have his eye on No. 7? Here's what Licht says Brady told him:

"Go after that seventh Super Bowl."

That's very on-brand for Brady, whose incredible drive helped him win six Super Bowls with the Patriots.

The 21-year veteran built an entire business around the number 12, so it makes sense why he decided to keep it. But considering Brady actually is one win away from winning his seventh Super Bowl title, it would have been pretty awesome watching him dominate for the Bucs this season with a visual reminder of what drives him.

Brady also could have had something in common with his former coach, Bill Belichick, who paid homage to his eight championships  -- six as a coach with the Patriots and two as defensive coordinator with the New York Giants -- by naming (and re-naming) his boat "VIII Rings."

Then again, Brady apparently didn't need any extra motivation to lead Tampa Bay to an 11-5 record and a date with the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV.

Check out King's full interview with Licht on how he built a Super Bowl team around Brady in the video below.