This week, the NFL passed a new number policy that limited the restrictions on what numbers players at various positions could play. Linemen are still beholden to their usual numbers (50-79 for OL, 50-79, 90-99 for DL), as are quarterbacks and punters (1-19), but basically everyone else can go wild from 1-49.
It’s a change many players have hoped for, as they want to go back to the number they wore in college, where number regulations are far lesser, and single digit numbers have become a favorite of many. It’ll be interesting to see how teams dole out those beloved single digits now — and sadly, the big fellas on the defensive line won’t be able to rock single digits still — but for the most part it seemed like a rather harmless, player friendly move. Unless, of course, you’re Tom Brady.
The future Hall of Famer took great exception to the rule, getting mad online with a couple of IG story posts in which he said this is going to lead to “bad football” and “why have numbers?”
Tom Brady is NOT happy about the new NFL number rule 😳 pic.twitter.com/0wE9Te15Nj
— PFF (@PFF) April 22, 2021
With all due respect to Brady, this is a hysterical mini-meltdown over some new numbers coming into play. Guys still can’t be on the field wearing the same number so “good luck figuring out who to block” seems like a thing that shouldn’t be a significant issue, and just saying “why have numbers?” is some incredible old man yelling at cloud stuff. It will surely cause some recalibration for QBs as they scan the field and linemen might have more numbers to call out for protection, but if college quarterbacks have been able to handle the wider variety of numbers on the field for years, I think the NFL’s best can figure it out too.