By Adam Roberts – 4/27/2021
Throughout American history, pioneers have ventured out into the great unknown to pave the way for others to follow. Names like Lewis & Clark, Daniel Boone, and Neil Armstrong come to mind. But we must ask ourselves this: did any of those explorers have to forgo their jersey number they had worn and identified with for a decade? Yeah, didn’t think so!
In case you can’t tell from my overt sarcasm, I could not care less about the NFL’s relaxed jersey number rule that will now allow a wider range of players to wear single digits similar to college football. Let me adjust my tinfoil hat as I tell you it reeks of a marketing campaign to pump up jersey sales a year after ticket revenue was the smallest the league has seen in many years, for obvious reasons. But someone had to be the noble first one to announce their intention to change the number on their chest and back, and Minnesota’s Patrick Peterson will be the one embarking on that particular oddysey.
The new Viking defensive back said on his All Things Covered podcast he will swap from the #21 jersey he wore for years in Arizona to #7, his number from LSU. He’ll be the first non-quarterback or kicker in Vikings’ franchise history to wear that number. In an interesting somewhat local twist to the story, Peterson has said he will donate new shoulder pads to Menomonie High School here in Wisconsin, which is the alma matter of Nate Stanley, who previously wore the number for Minnesota.
Also, it probably won’t cost Peterson much to make the change. While the league is requiring players to buy back the inventory from the league’s official distributor if they want to make a number switch, the number of Vikings jersey with “#7 Peterson” on the back is probably fairly low. It won’t be as expensive as, say, if Jaire Alexander in Green Bay or Harrison Smith for Minnesota wanted to make a change.
In draft news, Minnesota picks 14th in the upcoming NFL Draft. We should have our Vikings’ Round One draft prediction up later today.