Manning comes around to Brady's point of view on new NFL jersey number rule

/ by Jake Levin
Presented By Nissan

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is perhaps the most outspoken opponent of the NFL's new jersey number rule for this season.

His old nemesis Peyton Manning, seemed to feel differently, at least at first.

During Monday night's alternative broadcast of the game between the Las Vegas Raiders and Baltimore Ravens featuring the brothers Manning, Peyton made reference to Brady's disdain for the rule.

"I know Brady doesn’t like the single-digit linebackers, but Tom, it’s here to stay,” Peyton said. “You better deal with it. Learn the fact that a mike linebacker is wearing No. 6."

Linebackers are eligible to wear jersey numbers between 1-59 and 90-99 under the new rule. Previously, linebackers were confined to Nos. 40-59 and 90-99.

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It isn't just linebackers who can now rock single digits, though. Defensive backs can also wear Nos. 1-49, as well as 80-89; the same goes for skill position players on offense.

"Let them have fun, let them wear single digits, let them wear their college number, their high school number," Manning said. "If they’re having fun the game is going to be fun to watch."

Manning may have changed his tune later on in the broadcast, however, when Ravens middle linebacker Patrick Queen, who wears No. 6, emerged through the Vegas offensive line untouched for a sack of Derek Carr.


"Alright Brady, you're right," Manning said. "Nobody thought No. 6 was accounted for. I'll give you the win, Tom."

When Brady and the Bucs come to town in a few weeks, he'll notice several Patriots defensive players have taken advantage of the lax numerical restrictions. Free agent signings Matthew Judon (No. 9) and Jalen Mills (No. 2) have embraced the numerical freedom, while Ja'Whaun Bentley, a teammate of Brady's for two seasons in New England, now wears No. 8.