According to the NFL Pro Shop, Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower's jersey for #54 is on sale for 40% off. This isn't to get you to buy it, but to try and figure out what it means.
His jersey is now alongside the likes of Danny Woodhead, Deion Branch, Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, Tim Tebow, and Chad Ochocinco. None of those players are on the team anymore.
Now Hightower's obviously in the Patriots plan for the future and he's an important piece of the defense; he's not getting cut. So why is his number going for so cheap?
There are a couple of theories, the most popular being the retirement of #54, Patriots Hall of Famer Tedy Bruschi's former digits. There are currently eight retired numbers on the Patriots and it would be fitting if Bruschi, the undeniable heart of the Patriots' renaissance, was elected to be the 9th (Tom Brady will obviously be the 10th).
However, with #s 56 (Andre Tippett) and 57 (Steve Nelson) retiring, the Patriots would certainly be limited on the jersey front. I don't think that would be the deciding factor, but it's just something to point out.
Another theory is that pending free agent Brandon Spikes will be vacating #55 and Hightower could honestly just want to change his jersey number. He was #30 in college, #45 in rookie camp, and #54 since his career started. He could honestly not be that connected with #54.
OR MAYBE BRUSCHI IS COMING BACK?!!?
Take it as you will.