New Jets rookie Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner shelled out a pretty penny for the chance to wear #1 on his jersey.
Gang Green’s #4 overall draft selection in the 2022 NFL Draft paid $50,000 to his teammate D.J. Reed, who signed with New York for a three-year, $33 million contract in the offseason after a 4-year stint with the Seattle Seahawks for the chance to wear the number, according to reports.
For more coverage of Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner and the Jets, head to amNY.com.
Reed, who wore #2 as a cornerback for the Seattle, took to wearing #1 during the team’s offseason exercises, causing a minor problem when the Jets drafted Gardener, who donned the number during his time as a defensive back in college at Cincinnati.
He played 3 years at the collegiate level, while recording 9 interceptions and proving to be a coveted prospect in the pros — leading to him rising atop draft boards and landing at MetLife Stadium with a top-5 selection in the draft.
In an effort to keep his college number on the back of his jersey, Gardner cut a check for $50,000, and Reed accepted the payment while agreeing to change his uniform.
Fans of the team got a surprise announcement last week, when team owner Woody Johnson took to twitter hinting at a possible return to the franchise’s classic helmets, which feature their name along with a cartoonish jet protruding from the J.
Regardless of the helmets and numbers Reed and Gardner will wear during the upcoming season, the Jets will look to improve upon their putrid defense, which gave up a league-worst 6,760 yards last season, while recording just 7 interceptions (putting them tied for the 2nd-least along with the Jaguars, and just ahead of the Raiders).
Fans expect Gardner to play an integral role in their efforts to step-up on defense, and improve on their 4–13 season.
According to the popular sports betting site FanDuel Sportsbook, the Jets boast +700 odds to make the playoffs, meaning that gamblers would win $7 for every $1 wagered.
Gang Green will open their season on the afternoon of Sep. 11 in a home game against the Baltimore Ravens.