NFL Approves New Number Rule; First Player Announces Intention To Change
By Jason Hall
March 28, 2023
The National Football League approved a new rule to allow all players, excluding offensive and defensive linemen, to wear the jersey No. 0 beginning in 2023 during the league meetings in Arizona on Tuesday (March 28), sources informed of the decision confirmed to NFL.com.
The rule change was proposed by the Philadelphia Eagles earlier this month and builds on the previous change to allow all non-linemen to wear numbers 1-49 agreed to during the 2021 league meetings. Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley, who was recently reinstated after a yearlong suspension, was the first player to announce his intention to wear No. 0 next season.
The league's new rules for numbers allowed by position includes the following:
- Quarterbacks- 0-19
- Defensive backs- 0-49
- Fullbacks, tight ends, halfbacks and wide receivers: 0-49 and 80-89
- Linebackers: 0-59 and 90-99
- Offensive linemen: 50-79
- Defensie linemen: 50-79 and 90-99
- Punters and placekickers: 0-49 and 90-99
College football had previously permitted players to wear No. 0 beginning with the 2020 season. Ridley, who acquired by the Jaguars in a trade with the Atlanta Falcons during his suspension, was first eligible to "to petition for reinstatement" following the conclusion of the 2022 NFL postseason.
The Falcons received "complex draft compensation that can be worth at maximum a 2023 5th rounder and a 2024 2nd rounder" in exchange for Ridley," depending on if he's reinstated, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport tweeted when the trade took place in November.
There are conditions attached to this trade for Calvin Ridley. If he gets reinstated bye a date, it’s worth a 2023 5th, otherwise it's for a 6th. If he makes the team in 2024, it’s at least a 4th. If he hits play-time milestone, it’s a 3rd. If Jax get a long-term done, it’s a 2. https://t.co/RThnpL1ioO— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 1, 2022
"If he gets reinstated [by] a date, it’s worth a 2023 5th, otherwise it's for a 6th," Rapoport wrote. "If he makes the team in 2024, it’s at least a 4th. If he hits play-time milestone, it’s a 3rd. If Jax get a long-term done, it’s a 2."