When a superstar player signs with or is traded to a new team, it has become common practice for their new teammates to cooperate in allowing them to keep their jersey number. Almost always, some sort of agreement is worked out that may or may not involve money. However, if player X feels strongly about his or her number, he or she should not have to give it to player Y — regardless of how skilled player Y may be. That is why Bills defensive end Chris Kelsay has no intention of giving up his No. 90 jersey to the newly-acquired Mario Williams.
“The team told us something would need to be decided on fairly soon,” Kelsay said according to the Buffalo News. “I spoke with Mario. I actually brought it up to him, he didn’t bring it up to me. He completely understood.
“I’ve worn it my entire career here. A lot of times in a situation like this, the guy will buy it from you. But I’m not really interested in that.People who have never played don’t realize how attached you can actually get to a number. Having played with it my whole career, it was something I don’t really want to part with and he completely understood. That was basically it.”
All the jersey numbers between 90 and 99 are currently spoken for in Buffalo, so Williams will either have to work out a deal with someone or start fresh in terms of his jersey. As Pro Football Talk pointed out, NFL teams technically have the right to determine who wears what number, but the Bills aren’t going to demand that Kelsay give up his number. Unless Kelsay has a kid and Williams makes him an offer like the one A.J. Burnett made to Daniel McCutchen, Williams won’t be wearing No. 90 for the Bills next season.
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