Giants' Kayvon Thibodeaux donates $50K to charity for Graham Gano's No. 5

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Giants Kayvon Thibodeaux celebrates getting drafted holding jersey
Giants Kayvon Thibodeaux celebrates getting drafted holding jersey

Giants first-round pick Kayvon Thibodeaux is getting his number of choice, and the cost to get it went to a good cause.

Thibodeaux, the Oregon standout, will wear No. 5 for the Giants this season, a number he wore in his time in the Pacific Northwest. However, that number was originally worn by kicker Graham Gano in his pair of record-setting seasons with the Giants.

According to Gano, via Giants.com, Thibodeaux gave a $50,000 donation to Puppies Behind Bars for the number. The charity provides service dogs for wounded war veterans and first responders, in addition to explosive-detection canines for law enforcement.

"When he said he was willing to give to that, I can be No. 9 and maybe in 10-15 years when he retires and I'm still kicking, I can get No. 5 back," Gano joked. "The opportunity to give to something is exciting, and the number is obviously very special to Kayvon. While it is special to me as well, there's a whole lot of meaning in that No. 5 to him. I just wanted to be a good teammate and also be able to support others throughout the whole process."

Usually, when a player arrives to a team and the number they want is occupied by another, it means a transaction occurs for the swap to happen. For Gano, the opportunity to support a cause he cares about outweighed his desire to keep the number, but it was not an easy decision.

Gano said that he chose No. 5 when he came to the Giants because of his five children. His family helped the kicker when he suffered a left leg injury that made him miss a portion of the 2018 season and all of 2019.

The veteran kicker will go back to the number he wore when he was a Pro-Bowler with the Carolina Panthers, but No. 9 is also the one his wife wore while a softball star at Florida State.

As for the number swap saga with Thibodeaux, who said in his introductory press conference about all the “zeroes” it would cost to get the number, it was all a long con between the two.

“By the way, [Kayvon] and I knew the number change was going down for about a week before we said anything,” Gano tweeted Tuesday. “Loved messing with all of y’all every step of the way.”