On Wednesday the NFL passed a new rule, relaxing the stipulations for which positions can wear certain jersey numbers. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero first reported on the approved rule proposal, which has led Bucs QB Tom Brady to venting his frustrations on Instagram.
On Brady’s first Instagram post, he writes “Good luck trying to block the right people now !! !! going to make for a lot of bad football”. About an hour later in a second post, Brady wrote, “Why not let the lineman wear whatever they want too? Why have numbers? Just have colored jerseys…why not wear the same number?…DUMB”, while also tagging the NFL and NFLPA’s Instagram handles.
I asked some former quarterbacks why this might matter for their position, and nobody could figure out what Brady is talking about. I can definitely understand how relaxing the jersey number rules can be confusing for viewers who are used to seeing their favorite players in certain numbers, but NFL teams study all week for that matchup. They’ll be well aware of a few number changes. It certainly shouldn’t do anything to impact Brady, or the offensive linemen figuring out who to block. They’d just be communicating different numbers than the year before, which is typical anyway as rosters and lineups change year-to-year.
Brady is the GOAT for a reason, and hopefully we get to ask him why he’s frustrated about this rule change. Several of his teammates seem to be excited for it, with RB Leonard Fournette and LB Devin White, among others, suggesting on social media that they’ll pursue numbers changes this offseason. It’s also possible this is Brady being funny, although I’m not sure I see his angle there either. Certainly a strange stance for the Super Bowl-winning quarterback to take without giving us an explanation as to why the rule change will make life harder on offenses this season.
Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft