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#pounditSaturday, July 20, 2024

Aidan O’Connell reveals classy reason for his jersey number change

Aidan O'Connell dropping back to pass

Nov 26, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Aidan O’Connell (4) throws the ball against the Kansas City Chiefs in the second half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Aidan O’Connell had a notable reason for giving up his jersey number ahead of his second NFL season.

As a rookie, O’Connell wore No. 4, the same number Derek Carr had worn during his time with the Raiders. That, O’Connell said, was the primary reason he opted to change to No. 12 ahead of the 2024 campaign.

“They gave me 4, and as a rookie, you just kind of do what you’re told,” O’Connell said on “The Rush” podcast with teammate Maxx Crosby. “In the offseason, it felt to me, this is Derek’s number. He wore it for that long. He’s a franchise leader and all this stuff. It felt disrespectful, so I just kind of wanted to give that back to him.”

The Raiders moved on from Carr after the 2022 season, and the two sides did not exactly part amicably. Giving O’Connell Carr’s old number could certainly be viewed as a slight to Carr, and O’Connell certainly seems to have felt awkward about it.

O’Connell will compete for the Raiders’ starting job in training camp. He will do it while wearing No. 12 instead.

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