The NFL passed a resolution Wednesday expanding jersey eligibility for certain positions. Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady thinks the change could create some confusion.
Brady questioned the goals of the rule on Instagram, adding it could have an impact on the quality of play:
“Good luck trying to block the right people now!” Brady said, via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. “[G]oing to make for a lot of bad football.”
Maybe there would be some confusion discerning a single-digit player as a linebacker or cornerback. But this seems like a non-issue, for multiple reasons. The Buccaneers quarterback doubled-down on his take.
Tom Brady posts again, "DUMB" [rule] pic.twitter.com/d5aGP6ZGic
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) April 22, 2021
As Florio suggested, won't quarterbacks and offensive linemen generally have a pretty firm grasp of defensive personnel and blitz packages in film study? After all, it's part of their job description to identify defensive schemes.
Here's another reason the Buccaneers signal caller shouldn't be overly concerned: it is at least somewhat doubtful too many players decide to change their jersey numbers.
Players have to essentially declare intent to switch jerseys immediately. Otherwise, they will be forced to buy out existing inventory from the league's jersey distributors, per ESPN:
According to ESPN's Kevin Seifert, per NFL rules, if a player wants to change his number this season, he would have to buy out the existing inventory of jersey distributors. If he wants to give notice now to change his number next season, there would be no requirement to buy out inventory.
Perhaps some players will show that intent.
Regardless, it seems a bit trivial to suggest changes to the jersey number rule will lead to “a lot” of bad football, especially given the premium on film study. But when the Buccaneers star speaks, people will always take note of his words. However in this case, it seems like a minor change. It seems safe to assume Brady won't be dishing out the money to change his number.