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Eagles announce jersey number changes for Jalen Hurts and others [UPDATE]

#JerseyNumberAnalytics

Philadelphia Eagles v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

UPDATE: Okay, I lied. Benjamin Solak and I recorded an emergency #JerseyNumberAnalytics podcast for BGN Radio!

ORIGINAL STORY BELOW.


In what might be the most exciting news of the Philadelphia Eagles’ 2021 offseason (I’m serious), the team officially announced some new jersey numbers on Friday afternoon! Here’s an overview with some very important thoughts to follow.

SIGNINGS

WR Khalil Tate - 6

QB Joe Flacco - 7

P Arryn Siposs - 8

S Andrew Adams - 21

S Anthony Harris - 28

CB Shakial Taylor - 36

TE Tyree Jackson - 80

CHANGES

QB Jalen Hurts - 1 (previously 2)

WR Quez Watkins - 16 (previously 80)

CB Craig James - 31 (previously 39)

DT Javon Hargrave - 97 (previously 93)


VERY IMPORTANT THOUGHTS

  • Before we get started, note that more changes might be on the way down the road if the Kansas City Chiefs’ proposal to loosen jersey number restrictions passes.
  • The big news here, obviously, is Hurts changing from No. 2 to No. 1. I’ve seen some lamenting this change since they already own his No. 2. My take is that just makes you look cooler if he succeeds. You were in on the ground floor! Seriously, though, I like the change for Hurts. Didn’t love No. 2. No. 1 is much cooler for him, especially after he wore it during his most successful college season at Oklahoma. No. 1 for Hurts is a Big Winner Energy move. No. 1 for QB1.
  • Former No. 1s in Eagles history: Cameron Johnston, Cody Parkey, Mat McBriar, Gary Anderson, Tony Franklin, Nick Mike-Mayer, Happy Feller. All specialists! Hurts is the first Eagles QB to wear No. 1 (excluding training camp bodies).
  • Probably good for Hurts to get out of this group:
  • Dating back to high school, Flacco has always been No. 5. He knew that number wouldn’t be available to him in Philly. The shine that Michael Vick put on No. 7 has since worn off with Sam Bradford and Nate Sudfeld wearing it. Flacco getting Sudfeld’s number is likely additional confirmation the latter won’t be back.
  • Siposs getting No. 8 is fantastic for him seeing that it’s Donnie Jones’ older number. Great boost to his chances of winning a potential Eagles punter battle.
  • I like Quez Watkins changing from No. 80 to No. 16. That’s an upgrade and Watkins wore No. 16 in college. That being said, the history of Eagles players wearing No. 16 isn’t great. There’s only one in franchise history who wore it for more than three seasons: four-time Pro Bowl quarterback Norm Snead. Most recent players to wear No. 16 include Deontay Burnett, Mack Hollins, DeAndre Carter, Bryce Treggs, Seyi Ajirotutu, Brad Smith, Chad Hall.
  • No. 21 is a good get for Adams, who isn’t necessarily a lock to make the roster. Jalen Mills’ old number.
  • No. 28 is strong for Harris after previously wearing No. 41. Will Parks didn’t have success in No. 28 last year but Harris shouldn’t struggle to get playing time the way he did.
  • I don’t love No. 80 for Jackson, who is switching from quarterback to tight end. The number just doesn’t look great in the Eagles’ jersey font.
  • Conflicted on James changing to No. 31. It’s a good number for a player who’s going to be a starter but he’s likely only a backup and special teams player. No. 39 was a good number for his role. Bordering on overconfidence.
  • Hargarve taking Malik Jackson’s No. 97 was a good call. Pretty good defensive tackle number.
  • I’ve been getting a lot of requests for the annual #JerseyNumberAnalytics podcast that goes up on BGN Radio. We can’t record it until after the 2021 NFL Draft and the Eagles hand out all rookie numbers! Sorry to do this to you but it’ll be worth the wait!