When cornerback Stephon Gilmore joined the Patriots, his preferred number had been claimed, by Cyrus Jones. Gilmore nevertheless finagled No. 24 from the second-year player.
“I just asked him, ‘Can we do it?’ and we just came to the conclusion that we were going to switch,” Gilmore told reporters on Thursday. “He was genuine enough to do it so I was happy for it.”
Gilmore tiptoed around the question of whether he gave Jones anything for giving up the number.
“We just — we talked about it,” Gilmore said. “I already knew him from previous years. We just made a decision that we would make it happen.”
Gilmore explained that 24 became his number of choice due to players he admires, like Champ Bailey and Darrelle Revis, and players from his hometown, like Johnathan Joseph and Sheldon Brown.
“I just always wanted the number,” Gilmore said. “That’s what number a lot of guys I looked up to wore so that’s one number that I always loved.”
Jones moved from No. 24 to No. 41 for his second season. To the likely chagrin of anyone who bought his jersey. If anyone actually bought his jersey.