Former Jaguars receiver Allen Hurns knew he wasn't going to be able to keep No. 88 when he signed with Dallas this spring. At the time, that number belonged to Dez Bryant, who was released Friday. So Hurns (who still doesn't want it) decided to go in a completely different direction. Hurns picked No. 17 instead. The Miami native said in an interview that the number was chosen to honor the 17 victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, which took place less than an hour away from where he grew up.
For some players, their number is like their identity and they'll keep it throughout their career. If a number is already taken by someone on their new team, it's customary to work out a deal for it, whether that means paying for it or donating to the charity of the player's choice. While some are willing to pay whatever it takes to get their old number back, others such as new Raiders receiver Jordy Nelson don't feel the same. Nelson said in an interview that he wasn't even going to pay a dollar to get No. 87 back from former Packers teammate Jared Cook. He went with No. 82.
Some players have to switch because the numbers they want have been retired. Packers tight end Jimmy Graham is switching back to No. 80, which he wore with the Saints. Other players must switch numbers coming out of college because the NFL has different rules than the NCAA regarding what positions are allowed to wear certain numbers.
Here are some of the numbers of the players who switched teams this offseason via trade or free agency. Some numbers have not been made official yet because they are subject to change after the draft.
Ravens wide receiver Michael Crabtree has worn no. 15 his entire career and is sticking with that. Quarterback Robert Griffin III's number has not been assigned yet, although he has worn No. 10 since his college days at Baylor.
Quarterback AJ McCarron will don No. 10, which is the number he wore at Alabama. McCarron wore No. 5 as a backup with the Bengals. Cornerback Vontae Davis will switch from No. 21 to No. 22. Davis wore No. 21 with the Colts and No. 23 with the Dolphins.
Defensive tackle Dontari Poe will wear No. 95 after previously wearing No. 92.
Wide receiver Allen Robinson is switching to No. 12. Robinson said he wanted to get away from No. 15, which he wore for four seasons as a Jaguar, to signify a "fresh start." Robinson suffered a torn ACL in his final season in Jacksonville and was allowed to leave in free agency.
Trey Burton will sport No. 80 after appearing not to have any particular loyalty toward one number. In four years with the Eagles, he wore both No. 47 and No. 88.
Running back Carlos Hyde will return to No. 34, which he wore at Ohio State. He wore No. 28 when he was with the Niners. Wide receiver Jarvis Landry will return to No. 80, which he wore in college at LSU. Although he wore No. 14 with the Dolphins, that number isn't available in Cleveland, as it is retired in honor of Otto Graham.
A few of our new Browns have picked their numbers 👇 pic.twitter.com/aEVtzDFQo8— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) March 22, 2018
Cornerback Damarious Randall, who was traded from the Packers, will stick with No. 23.
Tight end Darren Fells will wear No. 88, cornerback TJ Carrie will stick with No. 38, offensive lineman Chris Hubbard will wear No. 74, cornerback E.J. Gaines will wear No. 28, wide receiver Jeff Janis will wear No. 13. Cornerback Terrance Mitchell will wear No. 39.
Allen Hurns won't switch back to No. 88 even with the release of Dez Bryant.
"They might as well retire that number," he tweeted following Bryant's release on Friday.
Hurns purposely chose No. 17 to honor the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting victims in Florida.
Defensive end Kony Ealy will wear No. 76, offensive tackle Cameron Fleming will wear No. 75. Wide receiver Deonte Thompson will wear No. 15, linebacker Joe Thomas will wear No. 48, and guard Marcus Martin will wear No. 63.
New Broncos quarterback Case Keenum proudly posted a picture of himself on social media sporting a No. 7 Broncos jersey as a child. He's also worn that during his NFL career, along with No. 17. However, No. 7 is retired in Denver in honor of John Elway, so Keenum went a different direction and will wear No. 4 this year.
Cornerback Tramaine Brock will wear No. 21. The numbers of offensive tackle Jared Veldheer, punter Marquette King, wide receiver Kenny Bell and defensive tackle Clinton McDonald have not been announced yet.
Center Wesley Johnson will wear No. 73, linebacker Christian Jones will wear No. 52, linebacker Devon Kennard will wear No. 42, cornerback DeShawn Shead will wear No. 26, defensive tackle Sylvester Williams will wear No. 92, and tight end Luke Willson will wear No. 82.
Tight end Jimmy Graham couldn't wear No. 80 after the Saints traded him to the Seahawks. That number was already retired in honor of Steve Largent, and the only exception made was when Jerry Rice signed with Seattle.
Graham switched to No. 88 during his stint in Seattle, but he's returning to No. 80 in Green Bay, the same number former Packers greats James Lofton and Donald Driver also wore.
Cornerback Tramon Williams will return to No. 38, which he wore during his first stint in Green Bay from 2006 to '14. Williams wore No. 22 and No. 25 during stints with the Cardinals and Browns.
Tight end Eric Ebron will wear No. 85.
Wide receiver Sammy Watkins will return to No. 14, which he wore with the Bills. Watkins switched to No. 12 during his one-year stint with the Rams last year. Watkins wore No. 2 at Clemson, but receivers are not allowed to wear single-digit numbers in the NFL. He wore No. 7 in high school.
Cornerback David Amerson will wear No. 24, cornerback Kendall Fuller will wear No. 23, quarterback Chad Henne will wear No. 4, linebacker Anthony Hitchens will wear No. 53, quarterback Matt McGloin will wear No. 5, running back Damien Williams will wear No. 26, and defensive tackle Xavier Williams will wear No. 98.
Center Mike Pouncey will wear No. 53.
The numbers of the Rams' biggest acquisitions this offseason haven't been announced yet. Ndamukong Suh has worn both 90 and 93 during his career, both of which are currently taken. Brandin Cooks wore No. 10 with the Saints and more recently No. 14 with the Patriots.
Cornerback Marcus Peters will stay with No. 22, which he wore in Kansas City. Cornerback Sam Shields will wear No. 37. Cornerback Aqib Talib will wear No. 21. Linebacker Ramik Wilson's number has not been announced.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins will stick to No. 8, which he has worn almost every year since his high school days. He had to switch to No. 12 when he was drafted by the Redskins because Rex Grossman had his number, but he switched back in 2014 after Andre Roberts made a donation to the Kirk Cousins Football Camp for the right to wear No. 12.
Defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson will wear No. 93 after previously wearing No. 91. Number 93 is the same number former Vikings greats John Randle and Kevin Williams wore.
Quarterback Trevor Siemian will wear No. 3, wide receiver Kendall Wright will wear No. 17, offensive lineman Josh Andrews will wear No. 64, defensive tackle Dylan Bradley will wear No. 92, and offensive lineman Tom Compton will wear No. 79.
Although nothing has been made official, new Patriots defensive tackle Danny Shelton has said that he would like to wear No. 55, which is currently taken. Shelton, who was traded from the Browns, wore that number for most of his tenure in Cleveland.
The number is special to Shelton for a few reasons. One is to honor NFL great Junior Seau, who actually wore the number with the Patriots. It's also to honor Shelton's late brother Shennon, who passed away in 2011. Shennon wore No. 55 in high school.
Running back Jeremy Hill will wear No. 33 after wearing No. 32 with the Bengals. Wide receiver Jordan Matthews will don No. 80, after checking with previous owner Danny Amendola to make sure it was OK.
Cornerback Patrick Robinson is returning to No. 21, which he wore during his first stint with the Saints from 2010 to '14, and also with the Eagles last season. Robinson has worn several numbers, including No. 34 at one point with the Saints and No. 25 and No. 26 during his time with the Chargers and Colts.
The numbers of wide receiver Cameron Meredith, guard Jermon Bushrod and tight end Benjamin Watson have not been announced yet. Bushrod has worn No. 74 his entire career, while Meredith wore No. 81 with the Bears. Watson has worn No. 82 since the 2010 season.
The Giants have not announced the new numbers, including offensive tackle Nate Solder.
The Jets have not announced their new numbers yet.
Jordy Nelson admitted that he was "too cheap" to even pay $1 to get his old No. 87 back from Jared Cook, who had played with Nelson during his Green Bay days. Clearly Cook didn't want to give up the number for free, as Nelson decided to switch to No. 82.
Safety Morgan Burnett will wear No. 42, which he also wore in Green Bay.
Cornerback Richard Sherman will stay with No. 25, which he wore with the Seahawks.
Running back Jerick McKinnon will wear No. 28. McKinnon began wearing No. 21 with the Vikings to honor his mother, who once wore the number as a point guard in high school. McKinnon said he was told he couldn't have No. 21, which once belonged to Frank Gore in San Francisco. Nobody has worn the number in a regular-season game since Gore left.
The Seahawks have not announced their new numbers yet.
Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul will stick with No. 90, which he wore with the Giants. Center Ryan Jensen (No. 66) and kicker Chandler Catanzaro (No. 7) will keep their previous numbers while defensive end Vinny Curry will wear No. 97. Curry previously wore No. 75 over six seasons in Philadelphia.
Cornerback Malcolm Butler will stay with No. 21 after wearing that number with the Patriots.
Guard Xavier Su'a-Filo will wear No. 76, quarterback Blaine Gabbert will wear No. 7, running back Dion Lewis will wear No. 33, guard Kevin Pamphile will wear No. 66, and linebacker Will Compton will wear No. 51.
The Redskins have not announced the numbers of their new players yet.