When the NFL announced that they're loosening up positional-based jersey number restrictions, it felt like a moment to applaud the NFL for making a positive pro-player change. As a number guy, I've been keeping my eye on all the players taking advantage of this rule. Yesterday, my beloved New England Patriots dropped a fake CD to break the news of who's rocking what. Other than Tom Brady's Karen rant on IG, there hasn't been much backlash to the ruling; as long there's a distinction between eligible and ineligible, I don't see the big deal. Let players express themselves and be more marketable!
The only problem with the NFL making this change is that they couldn't hide their No Fun League tendencies for too long. The league requires any player who changes their jersey number for the 2021 season to buy back the entire catalog of their jerseys/t-shirts. (And no, teams aren't required to buy back jerseys when they cut or trade someone!)
For some players, that's not a big deal. Kyle Dugger didn't need to buy back a few thousand #35 jerseys because they simply don't exist, but for Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith, like the Bloodhound Gang's 4th album, there was a Hefty Fine involved for shaving 45 digits off his jersey.
Jaylon Smith signed a 5-year $64M extension with $35.5M guaranteed in 2019, so he's by no means in the poor house, but I just cannot help but laugh at the prospect of someone spending "mid-six figs" on a number they can get for free next year.
Still, I can't help but play out a fake scenario where someone in his family or friend group reached out for some financial help and got turned down (for whatever reason) only to see a headline about Jaylon spending, let's conservatively call it $350,000 on worthless jerseys. "Oh, you can buy #9, but not cover my full room and board a private university!"- Jaylon Smith's fake cousin, who he's never met. That's fucking hilarious to me. It might not be accurate in this situation, but I'd bet my life like a shitty Imagine Dragons song that there is someone in the NFL who said no to helping out an estranged relative but dropped a few hundred thousand on a number.
Think about this for a second; I know money isn't real, but this dude spent "mid-six-figures" on a fucking number THAT HE CAN GET FOR FREE NEXT YEAR. Of course, again, this was complete conjecture, but that scenario is hilarious to me.