The NFL has relaxed its rules on which positions are allowed to wear which jersey numbers. 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel appears excited for the change. He took to Instagram on Wednesday to hint strongly that he’d be shedding his No. 19 for No. 1, his college jersey number.
Samuel posted a series of photos from his college playing days at the University of South Carolina to his story on Instagram, including one captioned, “Uno me.”
Samuel then made his intentions clear with another post of a black screen and the caption, “Jersey number changes coming..” followed by an edited picture of Samuel in a No. 1 49ers jersey.
Quarterback Josh Johnson is the rostered player who currently holds the No. 1 jersey, but he’s not expected to make the club and should leave that number unoccupied.
It won’t be a cheap switch for Samuel in 2021 though. Should a player alter his jersey number this year, he’d be required to buy out the existing inventory of the league’s jersey distributors according to ESPN’s Kevin Seifert. If the player makes the league aware of his intention to change this year, but doesn’t switch until 2022, he won’t need to buy back that inventory.