New Lions receiver Anquan Boldin has worn No. 81 throughout his 13-year NFL career, but in Detroit he’ll wear No. 80.
Boldin said after arriving in Lions camp that he didn’t even ask for No. 81 because it’s the number Calvin Johnson wore before retiring this year. Although the Lions haven’t retired Johnson’s jersey, Boldin didn’t think anyone should wear it.
“For me, it’s a respect thing,” Boldin said. “I think everybody knows what Calvin Johnson means to this community, to this organization. So for me, I didn’t even want to go down the road. So just out of respect, I didn’t even ask about it.”
That’s a wise decision: By showing respect to a franchise icon, Boldin is earning respect in Detroit.