Turns out that Michael Vick paid $10,000 to acquire jersey No. 1 from punter Ryan Quigley. There's nothing unusual about that; it's customary for a player to pay a negotiated price if a teammate owns the number he covets. But in this case, there's a twist to the story.
While talking to Vick during the New York Jets' voluntary workouts, Quigley agreed to the $10,000 price tag, but there was a condition: He wanted the money donated to charity.
"I looked at the available numbers and thought I would go with No. 8 for my new start with the Jets," Vick said in a statement released by his publicist. "It just didn't look right. I didn't feel right. I started talking with Ryan about No. 1. I think it's great that Ryan was willing to change as long as it was for a good cause. I loved his idea."
As a result, Vick is donating the money, in Quigley's name, to Teen Angel of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and to the Boys and Girls Club of New York.
"Most of the time in the NFL if a veteran requests your number, you work out a financial agreement between the two players," said Quigley, a native of Myrtle Beach. "I was not interested in the money for myself. I wanted to find a way to help some others."
It was a kind gesture by Quigley. After all, $10,000 is no small amount for a young punter whose $495,000 salary isn't guaranteed. For most punters, the NFL offers little security. That point was reinforced Monday with the news that the Jets worked out former New England Patriots punter Zoltan Mesko last week.
Quigley hasn't decided on a new number, but it's probably safe to say his decision won't create as many headlines as Vick did during his number-picking drama.