TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been making a flurry of moves over the past week after quarterback Tom Brady announced his return for next season.
Wide receiver Chris Godwin said that Brady texted him and fellow receiver, Mike Evans, about 20 minutes before Brady announced his un-retirement on social media.
“‘Hey, yo, just letting y’all know I’m coming back. I’m excited for another year,’” Godwin said. “Me and Mike were gassed up. We’re like what are you talking about coming back. You just retired.”
That kicked off the process of re-structuring contracts, re-signing key players, and bringing in experienced replacements for another Super Bowl run.
Godwin is one of those key players to return, officially signing a three-year contract extension worth $60 million. He led the team in both receptions and receiving yards last season despite suffering a season-ending knee injury in Week 15.
“I can’t imagine a Bucs team or offense without Chris,” Bucs general manager Jason Licht said. “So, we are elated to that’s he’s back.”
Soon after Brady returned, center Ryan Jensen and defensive back Carlton Davis re-signed. The Bucs brought in free agents wide receiver Russell Gage and safety Logan Ryan and traded for offensive lineman Shaq Mason.
Licht admits that having Brady back made those signings possible.
“Well, it certainly helped,” Licht said. “When you have a player like Tom, the greatest quarterback of all-time, players want to play with a guy like that. It certainly helped. I can’t lie. We have the ultimate cheat code with Tom. We’re going to take advantage of it while we have it.”
“This last week has been a whirlwind for a lot of people,” Godwin added. "I think it just restores faith in the Bucs’ fanbase that we’re back, man. We’re not laying down for nobody.”
The Bucs are now among the favorites to win the Super Bowl.