New Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson is taking advantage of a recent NFL rule change by switching to the No. 7 jersey — the number he wore as a two-time All-American at LSU — in Minnesota this year. He had previously worn No. 21 during his ten years with the Arizona Cardinals.
Peterson is the first Viking to take advantage of the rule change, which relaxed the league's restrictions of which numbers specific positions can wear. Each position still has a designated range, but they're much larger now. One of the highlights is that skill position players, defensive backs, and linebackers can now have the single digit numbers that used to only be allowed to quarterbacks and specialists.
Because Peterson is joining a new team, he was able to switch his number freely. Vikings RB Dalvin Cook wanted to switch to No. 4, but decided against it after discovering he'd have to pay in the ballpark of $1.5 million to buy out the inventory of unsold No. 33 jerseys.
The Vikings No. 7 jersey was previously held by Nate Stanley, a seventh-round quarterback who was a rookie last season. To get the number from him, Peterson is donating new shoulder pads to Menomonie High School's football program — Stanley's alma mater. Prior to Stanley, 7 was worn by QBs like Case Keenum, Christian Ponder, Tarvaris Jackson, and Randall Cunningham.
Stanley is switching to No. 14, which was last worn by Quartney Davis (who didn't make the team out of training camp last year) and Stefon Diggs.
Peterson had an incredible three-year career at LSU from 2008 to 2010 while wearing the No. 7 jersey in purple and gold. He was one of the NFL's best corners of the last decade while playing in Arizona and will be looking to bounce back from a couple sub-standard seasons after signing a one-year deal with the Vikings. Maybe the number switch — and Mike Zimmer's coaching — will help.
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