What is a number worth?
To Chris Kluwe, it was worth an ice cream and a plug for his band.
To the Oakland Raiders, it was worth annoying a player.
To Anthony Dixon, it is priceless.
The San Francisco 49ers running back turned down $24,000 from new teammate Nnamdi Asomugha. Dixon explained that he wore the number dating back to his high school football days and said it was part of his journey to the NFL.
Asomugha, who wore No. 24 in Philadelphia and No. 21 in Oakland, settled for No. 28. With longtime 49ers stalwart running back Frank Gore entrenched as No. 21, Asomugha’s only play was Dixon. But, no deal.
Good for Dixon. Heart over money. How un-professional sports-ish.
When stars leave for a new team, they often grease the hands of younger players to get their old digits. In Minnesota, punter Chris Kluwe had a laundry list of small demands for Donovan McNabb before relinquishing his No. 5 jersey. Earlier this summer, new Oakland cornerback Tracy Porter went to Twitter to say the Raiders took his No. 24 and gave it to Charles Woodson without his knowledge. Woodson wore the number in his previous eight-year stint in Oakland.
Dixon should take solace that the 49ers gave him a choice. Now, if he can only find a way to get a scoop of mint chip out of the deal.