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New England Patriots: Team jersey numbers after rule change

As the New England Patriots approach the start of the 2021 NFL season, it’s the perfect time for fans to sit back and appreciate what we’re all about to see this upcoming season from the Patriots. After the coronavirus forced many of our favorite players to opt out of last season, it’s going to be exciting to see them back on the field this year. 

In addition to being excited about players returning to the team, the Patriots were also aggressive in free agency, which brought in some of the league’s top talent to upgrade their roster. Furthermore, the Patriots were able to land tight ends Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith. As well as linebackers Matthew Judon and Kyle Van Noy.

A New Development?

One of the many developments to come out of the offseason was the NFL’s jersey number rule. For many years, the league regulated jersey numbers based on the position played. The Kansas City Chiefs submitted the original proposal, in which all of the team owners voted on and approved in favor of the proposal. Now players can essentially wear almost any number they’d like.

The new broadened jersey number selection allows position groups to wear the following numbers: 

Offensive skill position players 1-49 and 80-89. 

Defensive Backs 1-49.

Linebackers 1-59 and 90-99.

Offensive Lineman 50-79.

Defensive Lineman 50-79 and 90-99.

Quarterbacks, kickers, and punters  1-19. 

The New England Patriots had 29 players opt in to the new rule and change their jersey numbers.

The New Players and Their Numbers

No. 2 – Jalen Mills: Mills was signed during free agency. He was the only member of the defensive secondary to take part in the number rule change. 

No. 5 – Brian Hoyer: Throughout Hoyer’s multiple stints with the Patriots, he’s worn numbers eight, seven, and two. However, those numbers are taken by other players. So Hoyer will stay in the single digits and wear No. 5 this year.

No. 8 – Ja’Whaun Bentley: For the first three seasons of his career, we saw Bentley wear No. 51. Now with the new number change, he will wear No. 8. He wore number four during his college years at Purdue. 

No. 9 – Matthew Judon: Judon has worn numbers 91 and 99 while with the Baltimore Ravens. Now with the number rules changing and being on a new team, Judon will be wearingNo. 9. He wore No. 9 while in college at Grand Valley State.

The 10’s and 20’s

No. 13 – Nelson Agholor: The Patriots added Agholor as one of their big free agent acquisitions this offseason. He has previously worn No. 13 during his final three years with the Philadelphia Eagles. 

No. 23 – Kyle Dugger: Dugger wore No. 35 during his rookie season last year. However, with veteran safety Patrick Chung retiring, No. 23 became available. Dugger wore No. 2 in college. 

No. 25 – Brandon Bolden: After years of wearing No. 38, Bolden will wear No. 25 this season.

The 30’s and 40’s

No. 30 – Adrian Colbert: Over the course of his career, Colbert has played for four different teams. He has worn a different number for each team he has played for.

No. 34 – Tyler Gaffney: Gaffney has previously worn No. 36 during his first stint with the New England Patriots. He will wear No. 34 this upcoming season.

No. 48 – Harvey Langi: Langi will wear No. 48, as he has in a previous stint with the Patriots.

The 50’s

No. 53 – Kyle Van Noy: Van Noy is wearing the same No. 53 jersey that he wore before taking a brief hiatus from New England.

No. 55 – Josh Uche: Uche wore No. 53 as a rookie. However, he gave it back to Van Noy when he returned to the team. Uche will now wear the legendary No. 55.

The 60’s

No. 64 – Alex Redmond: The New England Patriots acquired Redmond this offseason. He previously wore No. 62 with the Cincinnati Bengals. He will wear No. 64 with the Patriots.

No. 65 – James Ferentz: Ferentz has worn two other numbers during his five-year career. He will wear No. 65 this year for the Pats.

No. 66 – Marcus Martin: Martin was given No. 68 when he arrived during the season last year. He is now going to wear No. 66 this year.

No. 67 – Ted Karas: Karas wore No. 75 during the first four years of his career with the New England Patriots. When he joined the Miami Dolphins last year, Karas wore No. 67 and will wear it again in New England.

The 70’s

No. 72 – Yodny Cajuste: Cajuste previously wore No. 77 for the Patriots. However, it was re-claimed by Trent Brown when he rejoined the team.  Cajuste will wear No. 72 instead.

No. 77 – Trent Brown: The Patriots reacquired Brown after parting ways for two years. Brown is entering his seventh season in the NFL and has always worn No. 77.

The 80’s

No. 81 – Jonnu Smith: Smith is one of the top free agent signings the Patriots were able to pull off this offseason. He is known for making big plays with the Tennessee Titans while wearing No. 81. Smith will continue wearing the same number for his new team in New England.

No. 84 – Kendrick Bourne: Bourne is one of the two wide receiver additions the Patriots made this offseason. He wore No. 84 with the San Francisco 49ers and will wear it again with the Patriots. 

No. 85 – Hunter Henry: Henry is the other big free agent addition New England made this offseason. He wore No. 86 during the start of his career with the Chargers. He will wear No. 85 here with the Pats.

The 90’s

No. 90- Montravius Adams: Adams has worn No. 90 during his time with the Green Bay Packers. He will continue wearing the same number while with the Patriots.

No. 92 – Davon Godchaux: Godchaux has a history of wearing No. 56, but he will wear No. 92 this season.

No. 94 – Henry Anderson: During his first year with the Patriots, Anderson will wear No. 94.

No. 95 – Nick Thurman: Thurman changed to No. 95 due to giving Godchaux No. 92, which he previously wore.

It’s worth mentioning that the rookie class hasn’t received their official jersey number yet. Once camp and roster cut downs are complete, the team will issue the remaining jersey numbers to the players for their selection. These are the current jersey numbers for second year players, veterans, and players new to the team.Numbers are always subject to change after roster cut-downs and preseason.

-Justin Trombino (@Trombino20 on Twitter)

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