Only a few days after the NFL officially loosened up its rules on uniform numbers, two of the league's brightest stars are considering a number change. Dalvin Cook and DeAndre Hopkins have hinted they want to switch from the uniform numbers they have worn since entering the league.
Per Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Cook is considering switching from No. 33 to No. 4 -- the number he wore in high school and at Florida State. The Minnesota Vikings running back is exploring the "inventory costs" regarding the number change. Under the NFL guidelines, a player who changes jersey numbers for 2021 must purchase the unsold inventory of jerseys under their old number. If the player waits until 2022, they won't owe a dime -- which may be incentive for Cook to wait a year.
Cook tweeted the No. 33 on Friday afternoon, implying he's sticking with his current number -- for 2021 at least.
3️⃣3️⃣— Dalvin Cook (@dalvincook) April 23, 2021
Hopkins is already considering switching to No. 6 -- the number he wore at Clemson. He posted a picture of himself wearing No. 6 in a Arizona Cardinals uniform on his Instagram page.
Under the previous jersey guidelines, only quarterbacks, kickers, and punters could wear single-digit numbers. With the new rule in place, running backs, tight ends, fullbacks, H-backs and wide receivers can wear numbers 1-49 and 80-89. There are some restrictions:
- Defensive backs --1-49
- Linebackers -- 1-59, 90-99
- Offensive linemen -- 50-79
- Defensive linemen -- 50-79, 90-99
- Quarterbacks, kickers, punters -- 1-19
Hopkins and Cook have had plenty of success wearing their current numbers, specifically in 2020. Hopkins finished with 115 catches for 1,407 yards and six touchdowns in his debut season with Arizona, setting a franchise record for receptions in a season. Cook finished second in the NFL in scrimmage yards (1,918) and rushing yards (1,557). He also tied for second in the league in rushing touchdowns (16) -- as 2020 was his best year in the league.
Switching jersey numbers won't change performance, but the old saying "you look good, you play good" may apply to these two superstars. Cook appears to be delaying the decision for a year -- if he decides to switch at all.