Gano had resisted overtures from former Giant Jabrill Peppers to give up the number and knew that more were coming the moment the Giants drafted the edge rusher. Thibodeaux was able to make the swap happen by donating $50,000 to an organization called Puppies Behind Bars, which provides service dogs for wounded war veterans and first responders, in addition to explosive-detection canines for law enforcement.
“When he said he was willing to give to that, I can be No. 9 and maybe in 10-15 years when he retires and I’m still kicking, I can get No. 5 back,” Gano said, via the team’s website. “The opportunity to give to something is exciting, and the number is obviously very special to Kayvon. While it is special to me as well, there’s a whole lot of meaning in that No. 5 to him. I just wanted to be a good teammate and also be able to support others throughout the whole process.”
Gano had picked No. 5 because that’s how many kids he and his wife Brittany have, but No. 9 also has resonance with the family. Brittany Gano wore that number as a softball player at Florida State.
Should the Giants use a high pick on a player who wears No. 9, Gano could wind up in position to get some more help for a cause close to his heart this time next year.