Tom Brady Blasts NFL for Jersey Number Rule Change

by Will Shepard

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback, Tom Brady, is not happy with the NFL’s new rule change. On Wednesday, April 21, the NFL owners approved new regulations for numbers on players.

But Tom Brady called the change “DUMB” in a couple of social media posts on Thursday. His response has since gone viral.

“Good luck trying to block the right people now!” Tom Brady said. ” Going to make for a lot of bad football.” Additionally, the second post read, “Why not [let] the lineman wear whatever they want too? Why have numbers? Just have colored jerseys … why not wear the same number? … DUMB @nfl @nflpa.”

The rule change is fairly simple, but the Tampa Bay quarterback is not happy. Generally, it expands what numbers are available for each position. Now, non-lineman can wear numbers between 1 and 49.

Before this rule change, only quarterbacks, kickers, and punters were allowed to wear single-digit numbers. Also, only quarterbacks, kickers, punters, and wide receivers were able to wear numbers 10-19. Additionally, running backs and defensive backs could wear numbers 20 to 49 only. Wide receivers, in addition to 10 to 19, could wear 80-89. Tight ends were allowed to wear 40 to 49 and 80 to 89. And finally, linebackers could wear 40 to 59 and 90-99.

This rule change is popular with many players who want to go back to their college numbers. Due to the practice squad additions this past season, the NFL decided to expand the number ranges for almost all of the positions.

The Kansas City Chiefs proposed the rule change this year, and it was approved yesterday. But Tom Brady is still up in arms about it.

Even though sports teams across the spectrum restrict number uses, it is only due to retiring numbers. The NFL is the only sport that actively forces its players to wear certain numbers.

According to The Athletic, Tom Brady continued his tirade about the number change to reporters. He sent text messages out, voicing his displeasure.

“Basically, the whole point of the number limits are to help offenses and defenses both, identify who’s in a legal position and where people can go,” Tom Brady said. “What’s the point of the rule if you’re gonna keep expanding it?!”

How Often Has Tom Brady Complained About NFL Rule Changes

Tom Brady and rules go back a long time. The NFL’s “tuck rule” is the first major instance in which Brady had a hand in its creation.

That being said, though, the Tampa quarterback has never spoken out about seemingly innocuous rule changes like this one.

In Tom Brady’s defense, the number change means that he will be able to know less about the defenders judging solely on their number. So, it adds one more layer for him to dissect at the line of scrimmage.