The Patriots will host open media access at OTA practices next week and in preparation have released their roster jersey numbers for veterans while also handing out temporary numbers for the rookies, as has become a tradition in the spring while the newcomers look to earn their stripes.
Players continue to take advantage of the new number rules that allow single-digits to be worn by different position groups, with James Robinson, Jabrill Peppers and Juju Smith-Schuster the latest Patriots to make the move under 10. However, some players have stuck with numbers that work for them and their position like Mike Gesicki's 88 which he also had in Miami and is one of the better tight end numbers, or Chris Board's 45 which is ideal for a linebacker/special teams stud. 76 remains in play at the tackle spot with free-agent signee Calvin Anderson taking it over from Isaiah Wynn.
The rookies should be expected to stay with their temporary numbers until the team's first preseason game, scheduled for Thursday, August 10 against the Texans. There will be an intriguing set of more fitting and desirable numbers available to them at that time, including 0, 16, 54, 80, 83 and 99 among others at this point. After wearing the number zero in college, Christian Gonzalez could be in line to be the first Patriot to wear 0 in the NFL after it was approved for use this offseason, though Gonzalez told reporters after being drafted it wasn't all that important to him.
Here's the full list of new veteran numbers, temp rookie numbers and the numbers that have been retired by the team and are no longer available.
New Veteran Numbers
- 3 - James Robinson - Wore 30 and 25 with the Jags and 23 with the Jets.
- 5 - Jabrill Peppers - Switched from 3 in his first season with New England to his college number 5.
- 7 - Juju Smith-Schuster - Wore 19 with the Steelers and 9 with the Chiefs.
- 15 - Corliss Waitman
- 17 - Scotty Washington
- 19 - Trace McSorley
- 29 - Brad Hawkins
- 37 - Tae Hayes
- 39 - Rodney Randle, Jr.
- 45 - Chris Board - Wore 49 with both the Ravens and Lions.
- 47 - Olakunle Fatukasi
- 74 - Riley Reiff - Had been 71 his entire career before wearing 78 with the Bears last season.
- 76 - Calvin Anderson
- 86 - Anthony Firkser
- 88 - Mike Gesicki - Wore 86 as a rookie, then 88 for his last four seasons with Miami.
Temporary Rookie Numbers
It's also a pretty good bet no one is getting 12 ever again.