Patriots coach Bill Belichick hates the new rule that gives players far more leeway about choosing their own jersey numbers. But that doesn’t mean Patriots players won’t take advantage of the rule.
The first Patriot to do so is linebacker, Ja’Whaun Bentley, who posted on Twitter that he’s switching from No. 51 to No. 8.
Bentley, who wore No. 4 in college at Purdue, may see an advantage to wearing a single-digit number: According to Bentley’s former teammate, Tom Brady, linebackers in single-digit jerseys are going to cause some confusion to offenses, who are going to have a harder time identifying who to block.
Last year Bentley emerged as a starting linebacker after Dont'a Hightower opted out of the 2020 season.