One of the more underrated aspects of the offseason is “Rule Change Season”.
This is the period of time when the NFL’s Competition Committee gets together and decides on potential rule changes for the upcoming season and beyond. There are usually two sides to the spectrum. Moving PATs back 15 yards is a great example of a good rule change. The other side of the coin is the rule change that made defensive pass interference calls challengeable.
It can go either way.
The 2021 changes are officially established. So far, there is one rule change that sticks out above the rest: The NFL will now allow defensive backs, running backs, full backs, tight ends and wide receivers to wear Nos. 1-49. Linebackers can wear Nos. 1-59. Quarterbacks and kickers usually take the single-digits, while receivers take the teens.
— NFL Football Operations (@NFLFootballOps) April 21, 2021
Fans –and certain players– are thrilled with the new development. There’s one player, however, who is not.
That guy would be Tom Brady.
Brady took to Instagram to vent his frustrations with the change on Thursday and he didn’t mince words when it came to expressing his feelings.
See what I mean? Total transparency.
Brady has a point. It doesn’t make much sense for offensive and defensive linemen to be left out in the cold, but they’re probably used to it since they the “glory-less positions” in the NFL. This will also make it a lot harder to tell who’s-who on game days, but it’s not like these guys don’t spend hours upon hours studying film. It doesn’t seem illogical to think the players will eventually catch on.
The “bad football” point is an interesting one. Will the number changes really affect the game that much? It’s hard to tell right off the bat. But it’s also hard to argue against someone who is entering their 22nd season in the NFL. I mean, they would know how the optics of the game work before anyone else.
But maybe Brady shouldn’t be too quick to pull the trigger on this subject. This rule may not have any kind of real effect in 2021. Per ESPN’s Kevin Seifert, any player(s) that wants to change their number in 2021 has to buy out the entire existing inventory of the NFL’s distributors. This will not apply in 2022.
Per NFL rules, if a player wants to change his number THIS SEASON, he would have to buy out the existing inventory of jersey distributors.
If he wants to give notice now to change his number NEXT SEASON, there would be no requirement to buy out inventory. https://t.co/XvduiMgSw3
— Kevin Seifert (@SeifertESPN) April 21, 2021
Either way, Brady’s pissed. And that’s always a scary proposition for the other 31 teams.