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If buying NFL jerseys before April, buyer beware

Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio - Wisconsin v Oregon

at the 98th Rose Bowl Game on January 2, 2012 in Pasadena, California.

Stephen Dunn

We write this item not to create problems for our friends at the NFL. But our loyalty lies primarily to the millions (and, amazingly, there really are millions) who rely on us for information about the sport they love.

If you love the NFL enough to plunk down some jack for a jersey, replica or official, you probably should wait three months.

In April 2012, Nike takes over the apparel contract from Reebok. And on the day that the switch was announced in October 2010, Nike executive Charlie Denson told Darren Rovell of CNBC that significant adjustments are coming.

“We plan on changing the NFL jersey dramatically just like we’ve done with the college programs, using new thinking and the greatest technology available,” Denson said. “The NFL program hasn’t had the same type of advancement in recent years.

The looming change possibly explains why players like Vikings running back Adrian Peterson are contemplating a number change. Recently on his Twitter page, Peterson mused about shifting to No. 21 or No. 23. (Maybe Peterson knows something that cornerback Asher Allen, who currently wears No. 21, doesn’t.)

In past years, a player-initiated number change would have been met with a requirement that the player refund Reebok for the existing inventory of jerseys with the number he wants to abandon. With the new Nike jerseys coming soon, there’s a chance that it will be open season for the shifting of numbers.

Regardless of whether we’ll see players changing numbers, the jerseys apparently will be changing. And it would make sense to refrain from breaking out your change purse until the new designs are unveiled.