In a social media post shared on Wednesday, new Steelers’ fullback Derek Watt announced which jersey number he will be wearing for the 2020 season.
With Steelers safety Terrell Edmunds already wearing number 34, Watt had to choose a new number beginning with the 2020 season. Donning the same number for the last eight seasons while with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers as well as his collegiate career with Wisconsin, Watt was forced to pick a different jersey to begin his time in Pittsburgh.
With Tyler Matakevich moving on in free agency and signing with the Buffalo Bills, the uniform number 44 became available during this offseason. Only having to increase one digit by one number, 44 became the obvious choice. Other notable Steelers to wear “double quads” include Najeh Davenport (2006-2008), D.J. Johnson (1989-1993), Lee Calland (1969-1972), and Willie Daniel (1961-1966).
When looking at the other similar choices for Watt, 44 does make the most sense. Although he could have attempted to go just one number lower with 33, the other Edmunds brother on the Steelers, Trey Edmunds, already had a claim to this number. Should Watt have decided to simply inverse his two digits, he would have been treading on sacred territory as the last Steelers’ player to wear number 43 will be enshrined in Canton this year. He might have considered dropping the first digit by one rather than increasing it, but Watt would have yet again run into opposition as this number has already been claimed by Benny Snell Jr.
When breaking it down, Watt made a fantastic choice for a new number since one had to be made. He could have also gone just one number higher with 35, but I’m partial to number 44 for my own personal reasons. The only question now is how soon Steelers’ fans must wait until they can find a number 44 jersey available for purchase.