Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey won’t change jersey number for 2021

A few Carolina Panthers have already taken advantage of the NFL’s expanded options for uniform numbers, with rookie cornerback Jaycee Horn opting for No. 8 and wide receiver DJ Moore dropping his No. 12 for No. 2. Christian McCaffrey won’t be joining them, though.

Despite some (self-generated) speculation, the Panthers’ star running back said that he will not be trading in No. 22 for No. 5, at least for the 2021 season. McCaffrey, who would’ve been required under the new rule to personally buy out the existing inventory of his unsold jerseys had he switched, cited the potential cost as his reason not to swap numbers just yet.

“Won’t be this year. We’ll see,” McCaffrey said on Tuesday at team OTAs. “That’s a number (No. 5) that means a lot to me. It would be a good check to change this year. I have no idea if I’ll switch, but I’m No. 22 this year.”

McCaffrey donned the 5 at Stanford University and Valor Christian High School prior to his Carolina days. He raised some eyebrows on Instagram last week, posting a photoshopped picture of himself wearing the No. 5 in a Panthers uniform alongside shots of him at Stanford and Valor.

Sad. McCaffrey ripping up the field in that number would’ve undoubtedly been one of the best aesthetics in the game. At least the aesthetic of his bank account will at least look much better for the remainder of the year.


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