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Tom Brady isn’t a fan of the NFL’s revised rule that allows players to change their jersey number based on position.
The Buccaneers star quarterback expressed his frustration over the rule on his Instagram story Thursday.
“Good luck trying to block the right people now [!!!!] going to make for a lot of bad football,” he wrote.
On Wednesday, NFL owners passed a proposal, which was initially made by the Kansas City Chiefs, to loosen restrictions on numbers available to skills position players.
The new structure allows defensive backs and linebackers to choose any jersey number from 1-49, while running backs, fullbacks, tight ends, halfbacks and wide receivers can pick from 1-49 and 80-89. Defensive linemen and linebackers can now sport numbers 90-99.
While Brady’s No. 12 jersey number won’t change — due to the exemption of quarterbacks, punters, kickers and offensive linemen — he’s clearly concerned about players having difficulty identifying positions.
“Why not let lineman wear whatever they want too?” he wrote. “Why have numbers? Just have colored jerseys…why not wear the same number?…DUMB.”
Quarterbacks, punters and kickers are still required to wear numbers 1-19 and offensive linemen would still get to choose from numbers from 50 to 79.
Following the news, the NFL said that expanded practice squads, due to COVID-19, led to various number issues for certain clubs last season, which prompted the Chiefs’ proposal.
It’s likely that there will be more player backlash to come following the news.
Per NFL rules, if a player wants to change their number this coming season, they would have to buy out the existing inventory of jersey distributors. However, players wishing to hold off on a number swap and wait until next season to switch wouldn’t have to shell out.
When the rule was in earlier stages of development this month, Buffalo Bills star Stefon Diggs vowed not to change his No. 14 jersey, so that fans wouldn’t have to “spend their hard-earned money” supporting him.
While it’s inevitable that some NFLers will don different looks either this season or next — that is if players choose to change their number and it’s available — the revised jersey number rule could significantly increase jersey sales, among other merchandise.
The NFL’s approval of its revised jersey number rule comes just weeks after owners voted to extend the regular season to 17 games.
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