Philadelphia Eagles

Eagles who could change jersey numbers under proposed rule


Change is continuing to come to the NFL in the 2021 season. 

After announcing that the 2021 season will now have 17 regular season games, the NFL reportedly is expected to pass a rule that will have less restriction on the jersey numbers that players can wear. 

The NFL appears to be going with a jersey structure that is similar to the college game with number ranges for defensive backs, linebackers, running backs and wide receivers into the single digits, with quarterbacks remaining at Nos. 1-19:

Running backs, wide receivers, tight ends: 1-49, 80-89

Offensive linemen: 50-79

Defensive linemen: 50-79, 90-99

Linebackers: 1-59, 90-99

Defensive backs: 1-49

Kickers and punters: 1-19

Some franchise cornerstones have become synonymous with their current number, but it is still fun to imagine them in some new threads in the upcoming campaign.

Here are five Philadelphia Eagles who may take advantage of the potential rule change:

Miles Sanders

Current jersey number: 26 | Potential 2021 number: 2

While Sanders may not be inclined to immediately take Jalen Hurts’ old number, No. 2 would be fitting for Sanders. He’s the second most important player on the Eagles’ offense, and taking the number would solidify a literal 1-2 punch between him and his QB.

Darius Slay

Current jersey number: 24 | Potential 2021 number: 9

The new rule allows Slay to rep the number he wore at Mississippi State. Next season will also be Slay’s ninth in the NFL, and if he wants to use the number as motivation, nine would be a new career mark for interceptions in a season for him.

Brandon Graham

Current jersey number: 55 | Potential 2021 number: 12

As a linebacker, Graham has always had the chance to wear No. 52, but how about a different number to commemorate the biggest win in Eagles history? Graham famously stripped Tom Brady in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LII, so wearing the quarterback’s number could serve as a constant reminder of who came out on top in Minneapolis.

Dallas Goedert

Current jersey number: 88 | Potential 2021 number: 6

Tight ends have a lot more range for jersey numbers under the new rule, so Goedert has a chance to make a switch. No. 6 represents the number of points Goedert hopes to continually add to the Eagles’ scoreboard. He’ll have a chance for more targets, catches and most importantly touchdowns if Zach Ertz leaves town.

Jalen Reagor

Current jersey number: 18 | Potential 2021 number: 21

Reagor is eager to put his rookie season behind him, and he’s been ready to put the draft behind him as well. As most Birds fans are well aware, Reagor was taken the pick before NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Justin Jefferson in the 2020 draft. The Eagles wideout said he “can’t watch another man’s journey,” but what if he actually uses that draft to make a statement? Taken with the 21st pick, Reagor could wear the number on his jersey to own the selection.

And a former Eagle who could have benefited from this rule change:

Terrell Owens

Career number: 81 | Number under rule change: Who knows?

T.O. had a whirlwind stint in Philadelphia, and he could have gone a number of routes with an array of jersey number choices. He could have gone with No. 1 to show who he thought the best receiver in the league was, No. 4 or No. 6 to be right next to Donovan McNabb or even No. 20 for all of the touchdowns he scored in his Eagles tenure.

Max Molski contributed to this story.

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