Eric Decker pays Jeff Cumberland $25,000 for No. 87 jersey


Eric Decker has worn the No. 87 jersey since his NFL career began when the Broncos selected him with the 87th overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft. Eighty-seven is important to him.

So important, in fact, that when Decker signed with the Jets he quickly approached teammate Jeff Cumberland about giving up the No. 87, which Cumberland has worn for the last four years. And now Decker got the number: Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reports that Cumberland agreed to give up the 87 jersey for $25,000 and a steak dinner.

Cumberland entered the NFL as an undrafted rookie making the league minimum and recently signed a three-year, $3.7 million contract. Decker signed a five-year, $36.25 million contract, so $25,000 means less to him than it does to Cumberland, who will now wear No. 85.

Players buying numbers from each other is commonplace in the NFL, but it sometimes leads to trouble: Former Washington teammates Clinton Portis and Ifeanyi Ohalete ended up in court when Portis didn’t pay the full $40,000 he had promised for Ohalete’s jersey number. Former Giants punter Jeff Feagles said Plaxico Burress stole his number and never paid the money he agreed to pay. And Donovan McNabb initially declined to give a promised charitable donation to fulfill a deal for ex-teammate Chris Kluwe’s jersey number, although Kluwe said McNabb did eventually pay up.

Here’s hoping Cumberland gets both his cash and his steak before trouble arises.

26 responses to “Eric Decker pays Jeff Cumberland $25,000 for No. 87 jersey

  1. Haha Eric Decker will be a free agent again next year after a disappointing season with the Jets. I just don’t think he is all he was hyped up to be. Especially with no dominant players around him.

  2. How hard would it be to tell him “contingent on payment at time of signing bonus payment?”

  3. Numbers are ultimately controlled by the team, right? So if jersey numbers are an issue, why not just tell players what number they’ll wear next season instead of letting them buy, sell and trade them?

  4. What a waste of money. It’s not like Decker is a Jerry Rice or someone that is tightly connected to a certain number. He should donate an equal amount to a charity, to offset this stupid decision.

  5. And if this had been a gentleman’s arrangement that wasn’t reported on the internet Cumberland could have had that tax free.

  6. No wonder y nflers go broke so fast,they blow their wad on stupid crap like #’s& fancy cars,& their posse/ homies while keeping it real.

  7. Decker will become a bust with the Jets. He should’ve stayed in Denver, and I’m not even a Broncos fan. I just see him as a guy that will do good with good players around him, and a great qb. No disrespect to Vick, but I just don’t see the Jets as contenders this year. Decker needs Manning to make him look good. Vick will make him look, mediocre at best.

  8. Taking a look at the previous players characters compared to Decker’s I’m sure Cumberland will be at The Palm in no time.

  9. Decker’s been in the league, what 3-4 seasons?

    he doesn’t qualify as being so good as to have his digits follow him from one team to another.

    CJ, Fitzy, Andre, hell yeah!
    Decker. Not buying it. One word for that….

  10. But I thought Plax was a great guy who just made a mistake?

    Remember when he was with the Jets and he was so damn selfish that he wouldn’t clap his hands after the huddle if a running play was called?

    Just don’t give the guy the # until he pays in full.

  11. Something in common about the guys that didn’t pay…

    Well Im sure I know what your implying so I will say this every slave was promised 40 acres and a Mule once freed we all know how that worked out, what do they all have in common hmmmm I cant quiet put my finger on it…….

  12. The McNabb one was probably the worst because it was a paltry $5K donation to a Muscular Dystrophy charity. But, at least he did eventually pay up.

  13. i mean if you can catch 800+ yards and 9 TD’s with Tebow, i’m sure you’ve got a chance with Vick or Geno.

  14. I’m not surprised at all about Plaxico stiffing the guy for his number ,, he’s a me first kinda guy ,,, just wondering if he made same arrangements when he was issued his jail id # ??

  15. Something in common about all those players that didnt pay.

    Unfortunately there is truth in what you say. Reminds me of the player who made it rain at strip and started a huge fight because he was trying to get the money back. Know what Im sayin
    The smart money says Decker will pay.

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