Moving to a 17-game season might not be the only big change the NFL has in store this offseason.
According to several reports, the Kansas City Chiefs have proposed a rule that would loosen the restrictions on jersey numbers. Currently, only quarterbacks, punters, and kickers are allowed to wear single-digit numbers, but this proposal would allow running backs, fullbacks, tight ends, wide receivers, linebackers, and defensive backs to wear single-digits as well.
Currently, running backs and defensive backs are limited to 20-49, fullbacks and tight ends are limited to 40-49 and 80-89, wide receivers are limited to 10-19 and 80-89, and linebackers are limited to 40-59 and 90-99.
Why did the Chiefs propose this rule?
The overall benefits of this rule change are fairly obvious. Newly drafted players would have a better chance of retaining their number from college, and it would give most players more freedom over what number they wear.
But there's a more specific reason that Kansas City wants this rule. Chiefs beat writer Matt Derrick pointed out on Thursday that the Chiefs have 10 retired jersey numbers, and the current limits on jersey numbers by position puts them in a number crunch. The new rule would free up more numbers for them to use.
Derrick tweeted the entire text of the proposed rule, which shows exactly what changes the Chiefs want to make.
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