Raiders’ Aidan O’Connell explains number change: ‘It felt disrespectful’

Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Aidan O’Connell wore the No. 4 during his first year in the NFL but has since changed to No. 12, which was his jersey number at Tulane. He recently revealed the reason behind the switch.

Of course, O’Connell wearing the number was notable, as it belonged to the guy who started before him, Derek Carr, who spent nine years with the franchise before going to the New Orleans Saints last offseason following what was a messy ending in Las Vegas.

In what is a sign of respect for a polarizing figure like Carr, who has no shortage of detractors in the Raiders’ fan base after a disappointing tenure, O’Connell said wearing the number “felt disrespectful.”

“I just didn’t want to be 4 anymore. I didn’t pick no. 4,” he said on The Rush with Maxx Crosby. “I was actually nine and then Tyree [Wilson] wanted nine, so they gave nine to Tyree. That was in like the first week I was here last year, and then they gave me 4 and I was a rookie, you kind of just do what you’re told.

“Then in the offseason, it felt to me this is Derek’s number. He wore it for that long and he’s the franchise leader and all that stuff. It felt disrespectful, so I just wanted to kind of give that back to him.”

While Carr spent a long time here, it’s not like he’s some kind of franchise immortal, but I guess it has more to do with the timing of getting the number more than anything else.

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After all, O’Connell’s new number was worn by a pair of quarterbacks — Rich Gannon and Ken Stabler — who had more of an impact during their respective tenures with the Raiders.

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