How much does it cost to buy an NFL jersey number? | Launderer’s report


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    Most NFL players have a particular affinity for a certain jersey number, and there have been a select few willing to dish out ridiculous amounts of cash to ensure their chosen number is secure.

    The latest number-buying story comes from new Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Darrelle Revis, who according to ESPN’s Uniwatch Paul Lukas paid Mark Barron $50,000 for the right to wear the Jersey No. 24.

    Revis wore No. 24 in each of his first six seasons with the New York Jets. Barron will now wear No. 23.

    The money here is worth putting into context.

    While $50,000 is a huge chunk of change for most of us, Revis isn’t going to suffer money anytime soon.

    The highest-paid cornerback in the game is expected to earn $14.5 million for the entire 2013 season, and he’ll earn around $765,000 a week in base salary. ESPN’s Darren Rovell also reports that Revis will be able to claim the $50,000 as a tax deduction for “business expenses”.

    If Revis truly considers No. 24 part of his identity, he got it back without a huge financial commitment.

    However, Revis isn’t the only player in recent history to spend money on getting a shirt number. In fact, it happens far more often than most realize.

    In the following slides, we’ll feature NFL players who received their pick number by cash payment.

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    Not all cash offers result in a jersey change. In other cases, the number is given free of charge. Here are some examples of near-misses:

    Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb

    According to Baltimore SunSmith was willing to pay Webb $50,000 to give him the No. 21 jersey ahead of the 2011 season. The then-rookie cornerback reduced the offer to $10,000, but Webb kept his number and Smith was forced to wear No. 22.

    Chad Johnson and Aaron Hernandez

    When Ochocinco arrived in New England in 2011, Hernandez was still the owner of the No. 85 jersey. Instead of forcing Johnson to pay for the number, Hernandez gave it away for free, according to ESPN Boston’s Mike Rodak.

    Johnson later jokingly said he was willing to give Hernandez his weekend Toyota Prius and McDonald’s coupons if he insisted on payment.

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    There was a stretch when former New York Giants punter Jeff Feagles couldn’t catch a digital break.

    In 2004, quarterback Eli Manning arrived in New York as the No. 1 overall pick and previously wanted the Feagles’ No. 10. According to Matt Dollinger of Sports IllustratedManning got the desired number, but only after sending Feagles and his family on an all-expenses-paid vacation in sunny Florida.

    With a fresh new tan, Feagles went from No. 10 to No. 17.

    His digital peace was short-lived.

    A year later, the Giants acquired receiver Plaxico Burress, who wanted to wear No. 17.

    This time around, according to Dollinger, Feagles didn’t want a vacation to change his number. Rather, he needed a new outdoor kitchen. According to Feagles, Burress could have No. 17 if he paid for the renovation.

    Burress got his number, just like Manning did a year earlier, but Feagles said he didn’t get a dime from Burress in compensation.

    Betrayed, Feagles went with No. 18 for the rest of the season. He eventually returned to No. 17 after Burress left New York.

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    When Donovan McNabb arrived in Minnesota before the 2011 season, his No. 5 was occupied by veteran punter Chris Kluwe.

    Instead of wearing a different number for the first time in his NFL career, McNabb engaged Kluwe in negotiations for No. 5. Kluwe responded with some interesting demands.

    According to’s Marc Sessler, McNabb had to donate $5,000 to Kluwe’s charity, Kick for a Cure, mention Kluwe’s fan group at a press conference, and buy the bettor a bettor’s cone. ice cream to get #5.

    McNabb agreed to the terms and was awarded No. 5. He eventually honored the donation and also dropped out of the band a few times.

    Execution of the ice cream portion of the payout is currently unknown.

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    Exchanges of money for numbers can sometimes go wrong.

    According to Lee Jenkins of New York Timesformer Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis agreed to pay defensive back Ifeanyi Ohalete $40,000 for number 26. Ohalete agreed, and Portis donned his favorite number during his time in Washington.

    However, matters turned sour once Ohalete was released from the Redskins the following August. According to Ohalete, Portis stopped the deal payment at $20,000.

    Ohalete eventually sued, and Portis was forced to pay $18,000 of the remaining $20,000 balance, per ESPN’s Len Pasquarelli.

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    When the Buffalo Bills drafted Lee Evans in the first round of the 2004 draft, he was willing to pay the price to get his number 83.

    The rookie eventually handed out $20,000 to Mark Coffman for the numbers, according to Jenkins.

    An eight-year NFL veteran, Evans has worn No. 83 in each of his professional seasons.

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    Kellen Winslow, Jr. (the son of Hall of Fame tight end Kellen Winslow, Sr.) wanted to wear his father’s number when he entered the NFL in 2004.

    There was a problem: his Cleveland Browns teammate Aaron Shea was already wearing No. 80.

    Instead of wearing No. 11, which Winslow was forced to that summer, he paid Shea to pick up whatever number he wanted, per CBS Sports.

    According to Jenkins, Winslow ended up paying Shea with over $30,000 worth of costumes, meals and vacations.

    Shea got a good shot, while Winslow would eventually wear No. 80 in each of his four seasons in Cleveland.

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    As you’d expect, probably the best number-swapping story ever comes from former NFL cornerback Deion Sanders.

    According to Jeff Pearlman’s book, Boys Will Be Boys: The Glory Days and Party Nights of the Dallas Cowboys Dynasty, Sanders surprised Alundis Brice with a new BMW as an offer for No. 21.

    An excerpt from the exchange:

    The next morning, Brice showed up at Valley Ranch and was dismayed to spot his dream car—a brand new metallic blue 325i with all the trimmings—parked at the players field. “I can’t believe it,” he thought. “Someone bought my car.”

    When he approached his locker, Brice noticed the keys on his stool next to a note from Sanders. He said: NOW GIVE ME MY SMOKY JERSEY!

    Brice happily gave the number. Sanders, while wearing his usual number 21, would help Dallas win a Super Bowl in his first season with the Cowboys.

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    Give credit to Indianapolis Colts quarterbacks Matt Hasselbeck and Chandler Harnish for settling a number dispute in an unconventional way.

    According to Sporting News’ Chris Littmann, Hasselbeck was ready to take No. 11 and let Harnish keep No. 8, Hasselbeck’s typical number.

    However, if Harnish hit a half court, Hasselbeck would pay $8,000 and he would get the No. 8 back. And sure enough, Harnish made the attempt.

    The money eventually went to charity. Hasselbeck will wear No. 8, while Harnish will get No. 5.


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