New Redskins safety reportedly forks over nearly $80,000 to get his favorite number

It’s a good thing that new Redskins safety D.J. Swearinger signed a huge contract because he seems to be blowing through that money pretty quickly. 

Just days after signing a three-year, $13.5 million deal that included $9 million in guaranteed money, Swearinger made his first big purchase: A jersey number. 

After Swearinger signed with the Redskins on March 10, he was hoping to wear jersey No. 36, however, there was one problem with that plan: Su’a Cravens already had the number. 

As you may or may not know, the easiest way for a young NFL player to make some fast money is to sell their jersey number to a rich free agent, and that’s exactly what Cravens decided to do. 

According to ProFootballTalk.com, Swearinger paid $75,000 to Cravens for the rights to wear No. 36. If that sounds like a lot of money, that’s probably because it is. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, that’s more than the average American household makes annually ($73,298). 

If Swearinger hadn’t paid $75,000 for the jersey number, here’s a small list of things he could’ve bought instead: 

  1. Fifty Redskins seasons tickets in a nice section
  2. A BMW M3
  3. 75,000 orders of four-piece chicken nuggets off the Wendy’s dollar menu. 

If you don’t feel like doing the the math, that would be 300,000 chicken nuggets, which is arguably the smartest way anyone could spend $75,000. 

Although Swearinger paid a hefty price, he actually had a good reason for paying it, and it’s even Redskins-related. The safety has been wearing No. 36 since he was in high school as a way to honor Sean Taylor. 

“I grew up watching the Miami Hurricanes,” Swearinger told the Redskins’ official website. “Then when [Taylor] got to the [NFL], and I think his rookie year was my freshman year [in high school] and he had 36, and I ended up getting 36. It was also a family number: My dad wore 36, and my uncle [also wore 36].”

Swearinger then pointed out that Cravens hasn’t been wearing the No. 36 his entire life, so it made more sense for Swearinger to wear it. 

Taylor ended up switching to No. 21, which hasn’t been worn since he was murdered in November 2007. Cravens actually wore No. 21 while at USC as a way to honor Taylor’s memory. 

The $75,000 payment from Swearinger is going to add some nice padding in Cravens’ bank account. Going into the second year of his rookie deal, Cravens is only scheduled to make roughly $651,000 in 2017, which means he just added 11.5 percent to his salary. 

The jersey sale between Swearinger and Cravens might actually go down as the most expensive of all-time. Back in 2014, we made a list of the 10 most outrageous jersey deals ever, and at the time, Darrelle Revis and Deion Sanders were on the top (Apparently, defensive backs love spending money on jersey numbers). 

Revis paid Mark Barron $50,000 for No. 24 after Revis was traded to Tampa, while Sanders bought a BMW for a Cowboys teamate who had the No. 21 that Sanders wanted to wear. You can check out the entire top-10 list by clicking here

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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