With six Super Bowl wins and a record four Super Bowl MVP awards, one could imagine that Tom Brady had a lot of bargaining power as a free agent, meaning he could make multiple requests before signing with a new team.
But according to an article by Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, Brady only had one request for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after he signed with the team: the phone numbers of his new teammates.
Since Brady announced Friday that he would be joining Tampa Bay on Instagram, several free agents have expressed interest in joining the star quarterback on his new team. However, as Stroud reports, Brady did not ask for any specific players to join him during his negotiations with the Bucs.
He also reportedly has not asked to wear No. 12, which currently belongs to Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin.
Godwin recently spoke with team reporter Casey Phillips about the number situation, also saying it hasn’t come up yet.
“We haven’t talked about it. We talked briefly, but hadn’t mentioned that at all,” he told Phillips. “Obviously, if he doesn’t want it or isn’t making a big deal about it, I’m definitely going to keep it. 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? We’ll see. We’ll see how it goes.”
As reported by Stroud, the initial phone conversation between the team and Brady lasted 90 minutes, during which the veteran quarterback showed a detailed knowledge of the team’s personnel and playing style.
“Brady interviewed (general manager Jason) Licht and (coach Bruce) Arians as much as they asked questions of him,” Stroud wrote. “…It felt like Brady was recruiting the Bucs, and the 42-year-old spoke with a teenager’s enthusiasm.”
Brady reportedly could name each of the team’s offensive weapons, by position, and was “intrigued” by the prospect of playing with the clubs’ two Pro Bowl receivers, Godwin and Mike Evans.
Earlier on Sunday, the New England Patriots took out a full-page advertisement in the Tampa Bay Times to thank Brady for his two decades of service and success with the team.
Brady’s contract with the Buccaneers is a two-year, $50-million deal, plus $9 million in performance incentives.