Few weekends change the NFL-wide landscape as much as the league’s roster cutdown days. Hundreds of players get released, while others get traded; some get claimed off the waiver wire or signed to practice squads and active rosters. The New England Patriots saw plenty of turnover as well during the process of finalizing the initial version of their 53-man team.
One result of all the moves is new jersey numbers for some of the players: they either have not had any with the Patriots before – those added via waivers, to be exact –, while others have decided to switch from one number to another. Let’s take a look at the five men, who will wear new numbers (via the team’s Twitter account):
WR Chad Hansen: #16
RB Sony Michel: #26
CB J.C. Jackson: #27
CB Duke Dawson: #29
WR Amara Darboh: #82
Newly signed wideouts Chad Hansen and Amara Darboh received their first jersey numbers with New England. Hansen’s #16 jersey was primarily worn by quarterbacks in the past: Jim Plunkett, Scott Zolak and Matt Cassel all donned the number during their time with the team. Meanwhile, Darboh’s #82 formerly belonged to tight ends like Jim Whalen and Daniel Graham and wide receivers like Vincent Brisby and Josh Boyce.
In the meantime, Sony Michel, J.C. Jackson and Duke Dawson all decided to switch from one number to another: Michel wore #29 before the switch, while Jackson shared #34 with running back Rex Burkhead. Dawson was given #42 earlier this offseason. Their new numbers also have a lot of history in New England.
Michel’s number was most prominently carried by defensive backs, as Patriots Hall of Famer Raymond Clayborn, Logan Ryan and Eugene Wilson all had #26 on their jerseys. Jackson’s #27 does not have the same proud history but still a few wearers worth noting: Ellis Hobbs, Ron Bolton, and Kyle Arrington all used it during their careers in New England. Finally, Dawson’s #29 was once worn by guys like LeGarrette Blount, Harold Jackson and Earthwind Moreland.