Wednesday, December 8

NFL jersey number rules, explained: why these players changed the numbers for the 2021 season

Soccer is a game of inches and numbers.

If you’re a fan of the NFL, you might notice that something looks a little off when you watch this season’s games: receivers with single-digit numbers, running backs with numbers in the 80s, tight ends with numbers in their teens. .

Your eyes aren’t deceiving you – these are all legitimate numbers now for wide receivers, tight ends, and wings, and the NFL relaxes the rules on which position groups can use certain numbers in the future. While it may be a bit puzzling to watch, the reasoning behind the first major change in the NFL’s number rules since the 1970s is pretty good.

Here’s what you need to know about the NFL changes for the 2021 season:

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What is the new NFL numerical rule?

For the 2021 NFL season, various position groups, namely wide receivers, tight ends, running backs, are getting new number brackets, meaning that the number options for an individual player have almost tripled.

Previously, only quarterbacks, punters, and kickers could have uniform single-digit numbers. Now that group has expanded to include tight ends, wide receivers, running backs and defensive running backs.

Here’s how the new number groupings break down:

Position groupNumeric optionsPrevious Issue Options
Corridors1-49, 80-8920-49
Wide receivers1-49, 80-8010-19, 80-89
Tight ends1-49, 80-8940-49, 80-89
Offensive line50-7950-79
Defensive line50-79, 90-9950-79, 90-99
Supporters1-59, 90-9940-59, 90-99
Defensive backs1-4920-49

Why did the NFL change the jersey numbers?

There are a few reasons the NFL decided to change the jersey mumber rules. However, the main reason comes from the Kansas City team.

The large size of the rosters (53 players in total, in addition to the practice squad players) can make it difficult for teams to assign numbers to certain position groups, especially for teams that have more than a few numbers withdrawn.

The Chiefs, who proposed the rule change, have four numbers retired in the 20-49 number range – that grouping of numbers was previously reserved for running backs, linebackers and defensive backs.

With COVID-19 changing roster rules in 2020 to include expanded practice squad rosters, limitations on number assignment caused a problem for the Chiefs and several other teams in the NFL, leading to the proposal, which the owners approved in early 2021.

With the relaxed and expanded number brackets, several more position groups are opened up outside of QB, kicker, and kicker to have single-digit numbers – wide receivers, running backs and tight ends have vastly expanded the number options in the field. future. The offensive and defensive lines, however, will not undergo any changes. The same goes for punters, kickers and quarterbacks.

The number change has not been accepted by all: in fact, Tom Brady has been one of the most vocal critics of the rule. Brady, whether he’s just trolling in his old age or he legitimately doesn’t like the rule change, thinks the rule could complicate matters for offenses.

“Good luck trying to block the right people now !!” Brady wrote on his Instagram story when the rule change passed. “He’s going to do a lot of bad football.”

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How much does it cost to change an NFL jersey number?

Just as one simply does not enter Mordor, an NFL player simply does not change his number. The price for an NFL player to change his number is quite high, depending on the player.

For an NFL player to change his number for the upcoming season, he must purchase the existing inventory of NFL jerseys ready for retail sale; That is, any jersey ready to be sold at a Dick’s Sporting Goods or Nike Store must be purchased by the player.

Dalvin Cook, who wanted to change his number for the upcoming NFL season, was tasked with paying $ 1.5 million, the price of the remaining jerseys in stock nationwide. That number deterred Cook from wanting to change from his number 33, but it is expected to change for the 2022 NFL season.

If a player wants to change his number for the following season, with proper notification to the NFL, he can change his number without problems.

NFL number changes

Here’s the full list of players, mostly wide receivers, who have changed their numbers for next season to get the most out of the rules:

TeamPlayerPositionNew numberOld number
Arizona CardinalsChase edmondsRB229
Arizona CardinalsIsaiah SimmonsLB948
Arizona CardinalsBudda bakerS332
Atlanta FalconsRussell gageWR1483
Baltimore RavensMarquise marquiseWR5fifteen
Baltimore RavensPatrick queenLB648
Buffalo billsEmmanuel sandersWR117
Carolina PanthersDj mooreWR212
Chicago bearsEddie jacksonS439
Chicago bearsDamien WilliamsRB825
Chicago bearsJavon wimsWRfifteen83
Dallas CowboysDonovan WilsonS637
Dallas CowboysJaylon smithLB954
Denver BroncosKJ HamlerWR113
Detroit lionsQuinton DunbarDB122
Detroit lionsMike fordCB238
Detroit lionsTyrell williamsWR6sixteen
Detroit lionsJamie collinsLB858
Indianapolis ColtsParris campbellWR1fifteen
Los Angeles RamsDeSean JacksonWR110
Los Angeles RamsRobert woodsWR217
Los Angeles RamsJordan fullerS432
Los Angeles RamsDarious williamsCBeleven31
Los Angeles RamsJalen ramseyCB5twenty
Miami DolphinsAlbert wilsonWR2fifteen
Miami DolphinsWill fullerWR3fifteen
Miami DolphinsLynn bowdenWR6fifteen
Miami DolphinsAllen hurnsWR817
Miami DolphinsNoah igbinogheneCB92. 3
Minnesota VikingsPatrick PetersonCB7twenty-one
New England PatriotsJalen millsCB2twenty-one
New England PatriotsJa’Whaun BentleyCB851
New England PatriotsMatt JudonLB999
New York GiantsSterling shepardWR387
Philadelphia EaglesDarius slayCB224
Seattle SeahawksAkhello WitherspoonCB22. 3
Seattle SeahawksQuandre DiggsS637
Seattle SeahawksCarlos dunlapEDGE843
Tampa Bay BuccaneersLeonard FournetteRB728
Tennessee TitansJuly jonesWR2eleven

Incoming rookies are the first class to benefit from the NFL jersey number change. Here are some standout rookies who are taking advantage of the new numbers for the 2021 season:

Arizona CardinalsZaven collinsLB25
Atlanta FalconsKyle PittsTO8
Carolina PanthersJaycee’s HornCB8
Cincinnati BengalsJa’Marr ChaseWR1
Cleveland brownsJeremiah Owusu-KoramoahLB28
Dallas CowboysMicah ParsonsLBeleven
Denver BroncosPatrick Surtain IICB2
Jacksonville JaguarsTravis etienneRB1
New York JetsElijah MooreWR8
Philadelphia EaglesDeVonta SmithWR6
Tampa Bay BuccaneersJoe Tryon-ShoyinkaLB9

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