There's a really interesting story in the Washington Post about Washington players that enjoy swapping jerseys with players on the opposing team as a sign of respect. The story also includes one Patriots-specific nugget:
There are also some teams that don't allow players to swap jerseys after the game. Goldson said he tried to trade jerseys in Week 9 after the New England Patriots game with wide receiver Julian Edelman, but Edelman said the team won't allow it.
"I think that's whack but, hey, to each its own," [Washington safety Dashon Goldson] said. "That's the only team I've encountered that didn't."
Don't worry, the Patriots aren't the only team that doesn't allow the act- the Steelers don't allow it, or at least prefer their players to trade in a more discreet manner- but opposing players really want their jerseys.
"Tom Brady is one of my least-favorite favorite quarterbacks of all time," Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. said in an interview prior to the Patriots week 10 match against the Giants, transcribed via the New York Times. "He beat every single team I ever liked.
"The Patriots have always been a team I didn't really like because they were always winning. But Brady's a legend, and if he would be willing to trade [jerseys] with me, I can't even give you words for that."
Even better, Edelman could very well have made up an excuse on the spot. There's no shortage of evidence of Patriots players trading jersey.
Running back Stevan Ridley was shown swapping jerseys with the Chiefs Jamaal Charles after the 2014 week 4 stomping in Kansas City. The Globe caught a picture of cornerback Brandon Browner and Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace after the Patriots 2014 week 15 victory.
"After the Jets lost to New England at home last season, right tackle Breno Giacomini greeted his adversary that day, Patriots defensive lineman Alan Branch, who told him: "You held me long enough. You might as well take it."
"Giacomini laughed and helped Branch remove his jersey and shoulder pads. Branch then did the same for him."
So maybe head coach Bill Belichick created a new rule this season about Patriots players not swapping jerseys. Maybe Edelman made up a story on the spot because he didn't want to give his jersey to Washington safety Dashon Goldson.
He could have made it up:
Dashon Goldson wanted Julian Edelman's jersey, huh? pic.twitter.com/SxThAmhuCo— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) December 23, 2015
On jersey swaps, Patriots WR Brandon LaFell has Titans' Brian Orakpo jersey in his locker now. Went to same high school. Swapped on Sunday.— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) December 23, 2015
Alternatively, Goldson and Edelman worked out together over the 2014 offseason, so they might actually be friends.
Either way, a Patriots jersey is what every player aspires to obtain- whether to trade for, or to wear.