During his lone season with the Kansas City Chiefs final yr, JuJu Smith-Schuster wore No. 9, and now that he is in New England, he’d additionally wish to put on that quantity, however that will not be occurring as a result of there are two massive points standing in his approach.
The first downside is that somebody is already sporting the quantity in New England, and that somebody is Matt Judon. Of course, Judon has solely been sporting it for 2 seasons — he did not put on it throughout his 5 seasons in Baltimore — so he may be open to creating a change. However, even when Judon was prepared to surrender the quantity, Smith-Schuster most likely nonetheless would not take it, and that is due to how costly it could be for him to put on it.
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During a latest interview on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston, Smith-Schuster revealed simply how a lot it could price him if he wished to get No. 9 from Judon.
“When you are on the identical group and you’ve got the identical quantity and when you change it, you must pay the charge for the remainder of that jersey,” Smith-Schuster mentioned. “And then no matter new quantity you get, you have to pay one other stock for that and that is an entire course of. He’s most likely going to need to ask for like $100K, which I’m positively not going to do.”
Under NFL guidelines, if a participant decides to change their quantity, they’ve to purchase the unsold stock of any jersey that is already been produced with that quantity, which suggests Smith-Schuster must lower a test to purchase out the remainder of Judon’s No. 9 jerseys (That’s the place his $100,000 estimate comes from). On prime of that, he’d most likely additionally need to pay Judon some cash for the quantity, so we’re speaking properly over $100,000 right here.
At that worth, Smith-Schuster positively is not a purchaser.
“I most likely would not go over, most likely, $30K,” Smith-Schuster mentioned.
JuJu simply signed a three-year, $33 million cope with the Patriots that features $16 million in assured cash, so he might positively afford to pay extra, however he is determined to be sensible along with his cash.
As issues at the moment stand, Smith-Schuster nonetheless hasn’t been assigned a quantity. However, the quantity he wore in Pittsburgh for 5 seasons (19) is offered in New England, so it would not be stunning if he finally ends up with that.
“I may need to return to 19,” Smith-Schuster mentioned.
No matter what quantity he chooses, it appears like Smith-Schuster is simply comfortable to be in New England. The 26-year-old says that one of many issues that made the Patriots interesting was the possibility to play for Bill Belichick.
“To be trustworthy, it was [Bill] Belichick, man. Just the need and the necessity,” Smith-Schuster mentioned. “And, you recognize, the place that I can fill there actually, actually caught my consideration. And I felt that like that feeling wished in a spot. He’s a head coach I’ve lots of respect for. And I simply suppose that that goes a good distance.”
Smith-Schuster is coming off a 2022 season the place he caught 78 passes for 933 yards whereas taking part in for the pass-happy Chiefs. If he can get wherever close to these numbers in New England in 2023, then the Patriots will virtually actually be thrilled. The Patriots did not have a single receiver even catch 70 passes final season.
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