This NFL Rule Change Could Cost Players | Sports Takes & News | TooAthletic.com
The NFL has opened the door for players to wear a wider range of uniform numbers after they relaxed some of their position exclusive jersey rules. And while the rush was on for players to change their numbers, some players changed their mind after seeing what the potential bill would be for doing so.
Source tells Pro Football Talk that it would have cost #Vikings RB Dalvin Cook, who considered changing his number from 33 to 4 due to the new NFL rules change, about $1.5 million in jersey inventory costs to change it. So he's sticking with 33. https://t.co/caIcQe55uX
— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) April 23, 2021
Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook was one of the first NFL players to explore changing his current jersey number #33 to #4. After placing his request, Cook was sent a bill from the NFL for $1.5 Million, the retail dollar value of all the #33 jersey which bear his name that would need to be pulled.
One major thing about the jersey number change: if a player wishes to change his number this season, he has to buy the remaining inventory of his existing jersey. If he declines, he can change it for next season at no cost.
— Jonathan Jones (@jjones9) April 21, 2021
You read right, not only does the NFL expect players to reimburse the league for the production cost of jerseys once they are made and may go unused, but the league treats any player looking to stay on their current team and change their jersey number as a customer by charging them full price to buy out all the inventory in stock. For the record, when a player is cut or traded, there is no cost to the team (who moves on from a player), leaving Fanatics, the company who sells NFL player jerseys, with a stockpile of unsellable jerseys.
It is well-known that both teams who participate in the Super Bowl have championship jerseys and hats made for them prior to the game. Of course, since there has never been a year that two teams have won the NFL title, half of what is made ends up getting donated to charity after the game. I would propose that the NFL offers it players the same option, to donate their old jerseys to the same charity of any other one who might make use of them.
For a player like Dalvin Cook, who is staying with his current team, a donation in the player’s home city makes a whole lot of sense to me. I am sure many people young and old would love a chance to wear a #33 jersey while rooting for a Cook, even if he is wearing #4 on game day.
For the life of me I could never understand this. A player has to buy out the jersey inventory to change a number. So what happens when he gets cut? Those jerseys go in the trash right? The manufacture takes a loss? NFL picks up the cost?
— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) April 23, 2021
I would also suggest to the NFL and the Players’ Association that they create a window every year, perhaps at the end of every season, when they holiday season is over and jersey production is at his lowest. It would be at this point when the NFL can pull a page from the NBA rule book and allow players to change their jerseys for the following season at no cost to them.
In the NFL world of “how much money can we make,” this kind of rule makes sense to them since it punishes the players, but not their bosses for making a business decision. I suppose the simple idea of adding a one-time waiver of this rule that corresponded to the update in the new jersey number rule would have been too obvious for the league, or more likely it was, and they rejected it.
Either way the NFL needs to stop trying to make its players pay the freight on every cost possible and give them a break when it comes to things like uniform numbers. That’s because this is one way they can brand and market themselves, and the NFL, instead of helping them, looks for the quick buck, and comes off looking (as they often do) absurd and greedy.
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This NFL Rule Change Could Cost Players | TooAthletic.com
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