The NFL passed a rule that relaxed the restrictions on the jersey numbers for most positions in 2021. But Tom Brady is not thrilled.
The NFL passed the proposal to allow a more expanded availability of jersey numbers for every position. For example, originally, running backs and defensive backs were not allowed to wear single numbers. But with that now changed, we could see a number of players switch to the college numbers that they wore ever since their childhood.
Indications from the ongoing meetings of NFL owners today are that they are officially approving a rule proposed by the Chiefs that loosens jersey number restrictions, including allowing RB, WR, TE, LB and DB to wear single digit uniforms.
Let’s go 🙌🙌 pic.twitter.com/B9gvk3nSat
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) April 21, 2021
The expanded jerseys will allow running backs, tight ends, fullbacks, H-backs, and wide receivers to wear numbers 1-49 and 80-89. Defensive backs can choose from 1-49. Linebackers 1-59 and 90-99. Offensive linemen 50-79 and defensive linemen 50-79 and 90-99. QBs, kickers, and punters will remain in 1-19.
But Tom Brady is not happy with the new rule. And he has his reasons.
Tom Brady thinks the number rule is crazy.
In an interview with Tampa Bay Times, Brady said the new rule has put the Bucs at a bit of a disadvantage heading into Thursday’s opener against the Dallas Cowboys.
Dallas has three players on defense who have changed their numbers to single-digits–linebacker Jaylon Smith (54 to 9), cornerback Trevon Diggs (27 to 7) and safety Donovan Wilson (37 to 6). Plus the addition of rookie linebacker Micah Parsons, who is wearing No. 11.
“The number rule is crazy,” Brady said. “Literally, guys changed their numbers today. I’m playing two guys who had different numbers in the preseason. So, yeah you’ve got to watch film and know who you’re studying but so do running backs. They’ve got to know who to block. So does the offensive line. So does the receivers who are adjusting their routes based on blitzes.
“One guys has got a 6, one guy has 11, one guy has got a 9. And they change every play when you break your routes and get to your spot. It’s going to be a very challenging thing. It’s a good advantage for the defense, which that’s what it is.”
Brady has had an issue with the rule ever since it was announced. Back in April, he took to Instagram to express his dissatisfaction with the rule change, believing it will cause safety issues for the offense, such as identifying blitzes or who’s the middle linebacker of the defense.
“Good luck trying to block the right people now!” Brady posted on his Instagram story, with an image of the new numbers permitted. “Going to make for a lot of bad football!”
I would like to speak to the manager please… https://t.co/482q4ysoia
— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) April 22, 2021
22 years in, it is understandable why Brady will have a problem with the sudden change. But with the rule set, it looks like he’ll have to adjust given that he wants to be around for a few years to come.