With organized team activities being kicked off on Monday, the New England Patriots announced new jersey numbers for their veteran offseason acquisitions (i.e. all players brought aboard not via the draft or rookie free agency) as well as a handful of other changes.
With time aplenty during the offseason, let’s use this chance to dig a little deeper and find out who previously donned those 13 new numbers. Let’s start with the lowest handed out by the team and go through them one-by-one.
3 — DB Jabrill Peppers
Most recently worn by: Quinn Nordin
Most prominently worn by: Stephen Gostkowski
The No. 3 jersey was worn by the organization’s all-time leading scorer, Stephen Gostkowski, between 2006 and 2019. Gostkowski is actually one of only four players thus far to don No. 3 in a game together with fellow specialists Bruce Barnes (1973-74), Rich Camarillo (1981-87) and Matt Barr (1993-95). Offseason acquisition Jabrill Peppers will actually be the first non-kicker to wear No. 3.
4 — CB Malcolm Butler
Most recently worn by: Jarrett Stidham
Most prominently worn by: Adam Vinatieri
Worn by backup quarterback Jarrett Stidham the last three years, the No. 4 jersey is mostly associated with Adam Vinatieri. A former rookie free agent, Vinatieri wore it between 1996 and 2005 and played a crucial role in the Patriots winning their first three Super Bowls. Other than Stidham and Vinatieri, however, only two other players have worn No. 4 in a Patriots game: punter Jerrel Wilson (1978) and kicker Jason Staurovsky (1988-91).
11 — WR DeVante Parker
Most recently worn by: Riley Patterson
Most prominently worn by: Drew Bledsoe, Julian Edelman
You thought Julian Edelman was the last player to wear No. 11 for the Patriots, didn’t you? Well, he wasn’t: practice squad kicker Riley Patterson wore it for a month last season before getting poached by Detroit. Before Patterson, however, No. 11 was indeed Edelman’s. The former college quarterback won three Super Bowls between the 2009 and 2020 seasons, winning one MVP award along the way. Edelman is a bona fide New England legend, and so is another one of the seven total players to wear No. 11 in a game: former franchise quarterback and Patriots Hall of Famer Drew Bledsoe (1993-2001).
13 — K Quinn Nordin
Most recently worn by: De’Vante Bausby
Most prominently worn by: Phillip Dorsett II
Only seven players have worn the No. 13 jersey in a regular season or playoff game for the Patriots. The most recent owner never did that: cornerback De’Vante Bausby donned it while on New England’s practice squad last year. Before Bausby, wideouts Phillip Dorsett (2017-19) and Joey Galloway (2009) as well as quarterback Tom Hodson (1990-92) were the most notable players to wear it.
14 — WR Ty Montgomery
Most recently worn by: Marvin Hall
Most prominently worn by: Steve Grogan
The No. 14 jersey has seen its highs and its lows through the years. While the last three men to wear it — wide receivers Mohamed Sanu (2019), Donte Moncrief (2020) and Marvin Hall (2021) — had a limited impact, it was also worn by Patriots Hall of Famer Steve Grogan. The former starting QB wore it between 1975 and 1990, starting 138 games along the way. Additionally, it was worn by quarterback/running back/punter Tom Yewcic (1961-66) and wide receiver Brandin Cooks (2017).
19 — WR Malcolm Perry
Most recently worn by: Malcolm Perry
Most prominently worn by: Brandon LaFell
Malcolm Perry already wore No. 19 as a member of New England’s practice squad last year, so his inclusion on the list released by the team is curious. Nonetheless, he is the last man to wear it. The last one to actually don it in a game, however, is Isaiah Zuber, who caught two passes in four games in 2020. The most prominent person to carry 19 on his shoulders, meanwhile, is Brandon LaFell: despite spending only two seasons in New England in 2014 and 2015, he proved himself a valuable member of one Super Bowl-winning team.
27 — CB Myles Bryant
Most recently worn by: J.C. Jackson
Most prominently worn by: J.C. Jackson
The No. 27 jersey was worn by quite a few players through the years, including Pro Bowler J.C. Jackson. Jackson wore it between the 2018 and 2021 seasons before leaving the team in free agency earlier this year. Others to call it theirs include fellow defensive backs Ron Bolton (1972-75), Douglas Beaudoin (1976-79), Ellis Hobbs (2005-08) and Tavon Wilson (2012-15).
30 — LB Mack Wilson Sr.
Most recently worn by: Sean Davis
Most prominently worn by: Mosi Tatupu
Wilson’s number has a long history in New England: 15 different players have worn it in a game for the team, including Super Bowl-winning defensive backs Duron Harmon (2013-17) and Jason McCourty (2018-20). If there is one player associated with it, however, it is running back Mosi Tatupu. The former eighth-round draft pick appeared in 201 games for the organization between 1978 and 1990. While mostly a role player, Tatupu was a cornerstone of those Patriots teams — and even mentioned on a classic episode of The Simpsons in 1992.
39 — CB Terrance Mitchell
Most recently worn by: D’Angelo Ross
Most prominently worn by: Sam Cunningham
Traditionally a running back number in New England, Mitchell is now the third straight defensive back to wear No. 39: Jordan Richards (2019) and D’Angelo Ross (2020) wore it before him. The biggest names associated with it, however, are all running backs. Sam Cunningham (1973-1982) stands out among a group that also includes Laurence Maroney (2006-09) and Danny Woodhead (2010-12).
61 — OL Drew Desjarlais
Most recently worn by: R.J. Prince
Most prominently worn by: Sam Adams
Led by Sam Adams, who wore it between 1972 and 1980, No. 61 has a proud history as an offensive line number in New England. After Adams, it was carried by Ron Wooten (1982-88), Stephen Neal (2001-10) and Marcus Cannon (2011-20). Together, the four men started 382 games for the organization and won six Super Bowls. As can be seen, R.J. Prince, who wore it last training camp, is one of the least noteworthy players to don it.
74 — OL Arlington Hambright
Most recently worn by: Korey Cunningham
Most prominently worn by: Shelby Jordan
A considerable number of players have worn the 74 jersey through the years, but only one truly stands out. Among the 22 men to call it theirs, former offensive tackle Shelby Jordan is the most notable: he started 89 games at right tackle for the team between 1975 and 1982. Other players to wear No. 74 in a game include defensive end Chris Sullivan (1996-99), current offensive line coach Billy Yates (2004-08) and, most recently, backup lineman Korey Cunningham (2020).
82 — WR Tre Nixon
Most recently worn by: Devin Smith
Most prominently worn by: Vincent Brisby
No. 82 has been flying mostly under the radar over the past six decades of Patriots football. Wide receiver Vincent Brisby, who appeared in 89 games between 1993 and 1999, is probably its most famous wearer. Others of note to don the jersey include tight ends Jim Whalen (1965-69), Daniel Graham (2002-06) and Benjamin Watson (2019). Devin Smith, who never appeared in a game for the club, wore it until his release last July.
87 — TE Matt Sokol
Most recently worn by: Tre Nixon
Most prominently worn by: Rob Gronkowski
A future Hall of Famer, Rob Gronkowski is the most prominent player to don No. 87. He is far from the only one to wear it, though. In fact, it has a pretty proud history: Lin Dawson (1981-90), Ben Coates (1991-99) and David Givens (2002-05) all called it their own before Gronkowski took it to new heights between 2010 and 2018. After not being re-issued during the 2019 and 2020 seasons, seventh-round rookie Tre Nixon received the 87 jersey last year.