Among the new rules passed by the competition committee, the decision to expand eligible jersey numbers has drawn the most attention from players, including Tyrann Mathieu.
Yesterday, it was reported that the league will expand the eligible jersey numbers for certain positions. The proposal, initially put forward by the Chiefs, was very popular when first put forward and the excitement was rejuvenated again when it passed.
Under the new rule, players will be able to wear …
Defensive backs: 1–49
Running backs, full backs, tight ends, H-backs, and wide receivers: 1–49 and 80-89
Offensive linemen: 50–79;
Defensive linemen: 50–79 and 90–99;
Linebackers: 1–59 and 90–99. https://t.co/EhTnOVX7RJ
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 21, 2021
Definitely a huge win for football. We can expect to see a lot more single digits on the field in the upcoming season, with players like Odell Beckham Jr and Justin Jefferson likely to go back to their college numbers.
Another player who might switch back to his college jersey number is Chiefs’ safety Tyrann Mathieu. The Honey Badger wore jersey #7 during his time at LSU but had to switch to #32 upon his arrival in the league.
Whether or not Mathieu will switch his jersey number is to be seen, but that didn’t stop him from reacting to the rule change. Writing to his Twitter followers, Mathieu said, “Them single digits gonna bring out the diva in them boys this year.”
Them single digits gonna bring out the diva in them boys this year.
— Tyrann Mathieu (@Mathieu_Era) April 22, 2021
Players Will Have to Buy Jersey Inventory to Change Number this Season
Although players might be excited to change their numbers, there could be a year’s time lag until we really see the effects. If a player wants a number change this season, they would have to buy out the existing jersey inventory.
However, if they submit notice for a jersey change for next season, there will be so such burden.
Per NFL rules, if a player wants to change his number THIS SEASON, he would have to buy out the existing inventory of jersey distributors.
If he wants to give notice now to change his number NEXT SEASON, there would be no requirement to buy out inventory. https://t.co/XvduiMgSw3
— Kevin Seifert (@SeifertESPN) April 21, 2021
Additionally, some players are inclined to simply keep their existing jersey numbers. For example, Stefon Diggs said he would stick with #14 as fans already spent their hard earned money buying his jersey. A real “man-of-the-people” move that saw him become even more popular with the Bills’ die hard fanbase.