The NFL cut deadline is officially in the rear view mirror. One of the lesser talked about points about this time of year, is how after 37 players are released, as many as 37 jersey numbers become available. Meaning rookies, as well as late addition free agents, will have another shot at switching up their uniforms before the digits get locked in at the start of the regular season. Additionally, the issue of players wearing the same number will need to be resolved as this isn't something the NFL allows players to do unless every other uniform on the roster has been accounted for.
So which Pittsburgh Steelers players will be forced to switch their number? Which want to change on their own? The following is a prediction on exactly this.
Joe Schobert straight-up told us that he will not continue to wear the number 45 immediately upon it being assigned to him when he landed in Pittsburgh. His previous uniform numbers do not help when it comes to guessing what number he will switch too. In Jacksonville Schobert wore 47 (unofficially retired), In Cleveland he wore 53 (Kendrick Green), and in college Schobert wore 58 (unofficially retired). But we can draw some conclusions.
Current Number: 45
Available Numbers: 57, 50, 10
Number Prediction: 57
57 blends together Schobert’s number in Cleveland and Jacksonville. It makes the most sense out of anything still remaining.
Trai Turner/Buddy Johnson
Both Turner and Johnson wear the number 51. While Turner’s historical number is 70 it is one of two officially retired number (Ernie Stautner) so this one comes down to the rookie. Johnson also wore 51 in college so this one is another difficult choice.
Current Number: 51
Available Numbers: 5, 50, 15
Number Prediction: 15
Switching the 5 and the 1 just seems the most simple move for Johnson. The NFL’s new number rule allows Johnson to keep something familiar on chest just not in the same order.
This is one circumstance where Freiermuth wore 87 in college, was drafted and it wasn't available and took 88, but now 87 is available again. Will he switch back?
Current Number: 88
Available Numbers: 87
Number Prediction: 88
I think Freiermuth is doing everything possible to ditch the Baby Gronk moniker and wearing the same number as Rob Gronkowski wasn't helping him achieve that. Freiermuth instead opts to create his own legacy in his own number.
Jamir Jones/Derek Watt
Similer to Turner and Johnson, Jones and Watt are in identical numbers. Again, the rookie will have to find new digits, as Derek Watt is already entrenched on this roster.
Current Number: 44
Available Numbers: 4, 40, 14
Number Prediction: 40
Jones keeps his numbers in the 40’s and settles on the next best thing. In my opinion 40 is that next best number for him. If Joe Shobert moves on from 45, it is another number which could also come into play.
What do you think? Will there be other players who change their numbers? What numbers do you think the players listed above will end up settling on? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.