The National Football League has relaxed its rules regarding what numbers players can wear based on the position they play, and it appears that we have the first prominent member of the Minnesota Vikings to declare a number change.
On his podcast today, newly-signed cornerback Patrick Peterson announced that he will wear the number 7 as a member of the Vikings. That’s the number he wore during his illustrious college career at Louisiana State.
Peterson has an advantage that other, longer-tenured members of the Vikings don’t have. According to Mike Florio at Pro Football Talk, if a player wants to change their jersey number, they are required to buy out the complete stock of unsold jerseys with their previous number on them. . .at full retail price. He estimated that such a move would cost running back Dalvin Cook around $1.5 million.
On the other hand, there are no Minnesota Vikings jerseys with Patrick Peterson’s name on them yet, so there is nothing for him to buy back. Therefore it costs him nothing to take advantage of the new league rules.
That’s something we’re probably going to see a lot of, given the rules. Players that are changing teams this year and the rookies that will be drafted this weekend will be able to take advantage of the new number rules because it doesn’t cost them anything, while players like Cook and Justin Jefferson have already announced that they are sticking with their current numbers.
It’s not big news or anything, but the Vikings are going to have at least one defensive player out there wearing a single-digit number in 2021.