When a player wants to change his number (or, in the case of Chad Ochocinco, his name), there’s a catch. The player must purchase the inventory of unsold replica jerseys bearing his current number (or, as the case may be, name).
Typically, the player decides not to write a check to the folks at Reebok for the privilege of altering his NFL identity.
Recently, Raiders receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey decided to buck the trend. An eagle-eyed reader spotted that Heyward-Bey’s number has changed from 12 to 85. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello tells us that Heyward-Bey paid for the remaining jersey inventory.
Heyward-Bey, the seventh overall pick in the 2009 draft, widely was regarded as a disappointment in his rookie year.
Meanwhile, we’re wondering whether the Eagles had to pay Reebok for the remaining inventory of green McNabb jerseys upon trading him to Washington.