Patriots

How Tom Brady thanked Bucs' Chris Godwin for giving him No. 12 for free

How Tom Brady thanked Bucs' Chris Godwin for giving him No. 12 for free

It seemed like a potential predicament: Tom Brady wore No. 12 with the New England Patriots, but a player on his new team already had that number: Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin.

Godwin didn't just fall into No. 12, either. He's worn the number since high school, per ESPN, and both he and his fianceé have the number in their Twitter and Instagram profiles, respectively.

But Godwin agreed to switch to No. 14 so Brady could keep No. 12 with the Bucs, and made the move for free: The wide receiver told the team website he gave up No. 12 out of respect for the six-time Super Bowl champion quarterback and that there was no transaction involved.

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In fact, Godwin celebrated the change Tuesday with some photo editing magic on Instagram.

View this post on Instagram

New number, same mentality ! 😤 #ItsAlways12szn #1fo

A post shared by G Baby (@chrisgodwin) on

So, it was the least Brady could do to show his new wideout love in the comment section.

"Much Appreciated - Very Grateful - Humbled / And ready to get to work!!!" Brady wrote on Godwin's post, adding a pair of "100" emojis.

Fellow Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans also chimed in by commenting, "Already Gs."

Even if Godwin wanted to keep No. 12, it's a smart move by the 24-year-old to get into Brady's good graces.

Brady also can "repay" Godwin by feeding him frequently in 2020: The Pro Bowl wideout finished third in the NFL in receiving yards in 2019 and along with Evans should form a lethal duo for his new quarterback.

Patriots' Stephon Gilmore hard at work in new offseason training video

Patriots' Stephon Gilmore hard at work in new offseason training video

NFL teams have not been able to conduct normal offseason workouts, rookie camps and other activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but players are still finding ways to stay in shape and prepare for the 2020 season.

That includes New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who recently worked out with former NFL defensive back Dre Bly, who's currently the cornerbacks coach for the University of North Carolina football team.

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Check out some footage of Gilmore's workout in the tweet below:

Gilmore arguably is the Patriots' best player following quarterback Tom Brady's departure in free agency. In Pro Football Focus' recent ranking of the top 50 players gonig into the 2020 season, Gilmore was the only Patriot to make the list.

The veteran cornerback is coming off back-to-back seasons of first team All-Pro selections, and in February he was named the AP Defensive Player of the Year Award winner for the 2019 campaign.

The Patriots saw a lot of veteran players from their defense leave as free agents this offseason. Luckily for New England, its secondary remains one of the best groups in the league, and Gilmore's presence as the sport's premier shutdown cornerback is the primary reason for that.

Patriots WR Jakobi Meyers reveals his goal entering 2020 NFL season

Patriots WR Jakobi Meyers reveals his goal entering 2020 NFL season

The New England Patriots need a young wide receiver to step and play at a higher level in 2020, and one of the best candidates is Jakobi Meyers.

Meyers went undrafted in 2019 out of North Carolina State and performed well enough in training camp and the preseason to earn a spot on the Patriots' 53-man roster. 

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What is Meyers hoping to accomplish in his second pro season?

"Mentally, I want to be levels ahead of where I was last year," Meyers told Patriots.com writer Paul Perillo. "Understanding not only what we're doing but also why we're doing it. Earning trust to make the right play. I want to build on last year. It was a nice stepping stone, but I want to keep building and growing."

Meyers knows his job is not guaranteed, and he's very motivated to prove to the Patriots that he again deserves a roster spot.

"I feel like I will be a lot further ahead," Meyers said. "I didn't know if I'd even make the team or what role I might have or where I'd be playing. I still have chip on my shoulder, like will I even be here? I'm staying ready for my name to be called. I need to make sure I give them a reason to keep me around."

For Meyers to take the next step he must be more consistent.

The 23-year-old wideout had consecutive games with multiple receptions only twice as a rookie, and he tallied only one catch in five of the 11 games he played. Overall, Meyers totaled 26 receptions for 359 yards and zero touchdowns in 2019.

One reason to be confident in Meyers' ability to make a stronger impact in the Patriots offense next season is Jarrett Stidham. The 2019 fourth-round draft pick likely will be the team's starting quarterback following Tom Brady's departure in free agency, and he and Meyers had a good chemistry during the preseason. Of course, it's important not to take too much away from preseason action, but these two players built a strong rapport last August

Injuries to veteran wide receivers Julian Edelman and Mohamed Sanu played a large part in the Patriots' offensive struggles over the second half of the 2019 season. If Edelman and Sanu come back healthy, and a young wideout such as Meyers or N'Keal Harry make a sophomore leap, New England's offense has a chance to be surprisingly good in 2020.