Florio Jr. is becoming more and more interested in the NFL, which means that eventually you’ll be calling him bad names while I’m playing golf with Arnold Palmer’s grandchildren.
One thing he finds fascinating is the league’s numbering system (he still won’t let it go regarding the fact that tight end Dallas Clark has finagled No. 44). And so since he now reads the site from time to time (I need to set a good example by not typing words like “douchebag”), this one’s for him.
Earlier today, the league made a tweak to its rigid numbering system, for several positions.
Centers previously had to choose numbers between 50 and 59, with 60 to 79 available if 50 to 59 weren’t available. They now may choose any number between 50 and 79.
Defensive linemen may now choose from 60 to 70 and 90 to 99, and linebackers may pick a number from 50 to 59 or 90 to 99. These changes were aimed at recognizing the overlap between linebackers and defensive ends, especially in the 3-4 defense.
Also, the rules now permit a player to move from one position to another and keep his number, if he played the prior position for at least a year and if he is moving from a position that is eligible to receive passes to another eligible position, or if he is moving from one ineligible position to another ineligible position. This is the rule that, if on the books, would have allowed Devin Hester to keep number 23 after becoming a receiver. (For reasons not known to us, Hester was not required to change his number when he became a receiver.)
So if, for example, Vikings receiver Percy Harvin were to become a running back, he’d be permitted to keep No. 12, even though running backs are limited to a number from 20 to 49. Also, if Tim Tebow plays quarterback for a year at No. 15 and then moves to tight end or fullback, he’ll be able to keep his number.
But if, say, Chiefs linebacker Mike Vrabel were to become a fullback or a tight end, he’d have to change his number.
Let’s see how long it takes for Florio Jr. to comment. And here’s hoping he doesn’t call me a douchebag. Again.