As soon as the NFL announced last year that defensive players could wear single-digit jersey numbers, Chargers safety Derwin James expressed interest in switching from his NFL number, 33, to his college number, 3. But he didn’t make the switch immediately.
When the Chargers opened Organized Team Activities this week, James was in his No. 3 jersey, and he revealed that he waited a year because of the NFL policy that players who make an immediate jersey number switch have to buy up the remaining inventory of their jerseys, while players who give a full season of advance notice before switching don’t have to pay anything.
“I didn’t have to give anything, actually,” James said. “I waited a year so I didn’t have to do anything. I told them last year that I was going to do it.”
Last year the Chargers’ No. 3 jersey belonged to practice squad quarterback K.J. Costello, whom the Chargers didn’t re-sign this offseason, so James didn’t have to pay a teammate to get the jersey.