Kirk Cousins unveils true story behind jersey number switch

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Kirk Cousins faced a quandary early in his time with his new team. The jersey number he’s worn for most of his NFL career, No 8, was worn by Falcons star Kyle Pitts. So how, exactly, did this get resolved? Cousins joined Shaquille O’Neal and Bleacher Report’s Adam Lefkoe on The Big Podcast recently to discuss the matter.

Lefkoe asked Cousins to address the rumors that surrounded Cousins’ decision to switch to No. 18, instead of taking tight end Kyle Pitts’ No.8, which he has worn since his time at Michigan State sans two years at the beginning of his career where he wore No.12.

According to Lefkoe, the story around the internet was that Cousins, known for his business acumen, didn’t even need to pay the Unicorn for the number swap. He just wanted more targets. So, when Cousins refused, it seemed there were questions about Pitts’ usage in the offense in 2024.

Of course, Cousins refuted and laughed at the notion that a jersey number would ever affect a player’s targets and gave a much more rational explanation for not switching back to his well-known number eight.

Pitts wanted to switch back to his college number, #84, which KR/WR/RB Cordarrelle Patterson has worn since joining the team in 2021. With Patterson departure, and subsequent signing with the Steelers, Pitts saw an opportunity to switch back to his number and give his new quarterback the number he wanted.

The problem resides with the number of No.8 Pitts jerseys that the 2021 first-round pick has already sold. Pitts has been the number-one NFL jersey sold in Georgia for several years. To make the swap, Pitts and Cousins would have to buy all those jerseys, a total that Cousins revealed was in the several thousands of dollars range. 

Cousins and Pitts decided that the better route to go was for Kirk to find a new number and have Pitts keep his patented No.8 jersey.

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