New 49ers running back Tim Hightower was issued his first number with the 49ers.
And he seemed to disagree with the new equipment staff’s decision to outfit him with No. 21.
That jersey number was not assigned the past two seasons – since Frank Gore left the 49ers as a free agent to sign with the Indianapolis Colts. Gore is the 49ers’ all-time leading rusher and ranks eighth in NFL history.
Among the hashtags that Hightower posted on Instagram along with his locker name plate “Hightower 21,” were “#numbertheygaveme,” “#willbechanged” and #numbershouldberetired.”
It did not take long for Hightower to be issued a new number. Just hours later, Hightower was assigned No. 26, which was formerly worn by cornerback Tramaine Brock. The 49ers on Friday released Brock just hours after news of his arrest after a domestic violence incident.
Hightower has played six NFL seasons. He wore No. 34 with the Arizona Cardinals at the beginning of his career and the past two seasons with the New Orleans Saints. In 2011, he wore No. 25 with Washington.
Legendary 49ers running back Joe “The Jet” Perry’s No. 34 with the 49ers is retired, and Jimmie Ward is No. 25.
The 49ers agreed to terms with free-agent running back Tim Hightower, general manager John Lynch announced Saturday morning.
The club made the official announcement on Tuesday, as Hightower signed a one-year contract.
Hightower, 30, appeared in 16 games for the New Orleans Saints last season. He rushed for 548 yards and four touchdowns on 133 attempts for a 4.1-yard average. He also caught 22 passes for 200 yards.
“We got better this week” with the signings of Hightower and DuJuan Harris, Lynch wrote on Twitter.
Hightower broke into the NFL in 2008 with the Arizona Cardinals. He had a career-best 10 rushing touchdowns as a rookie. He played three seasons with the Cardinals. His best season came in 2010 when he rushed for 736 yards and five touchdowns.
Hightower played one season with Washington in 2011 while Kyle Shanahan was offensive coordinator. Hightower appeared in five games before a season-ending ACL injury while Kyle Shanahan was the offensive coordinator. He was out of the game until the 2015 season, when he signed with the Saints.
Hightower joins a group of 49ers running backs that include Carlos Hyde, Harris, Mike Davis and Raheem Mostert. The 49ers re-signed Harris this week to a one-year contract. He gained 138 yards on 38 rushing attempts last season.