By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Tom Brady has got a shiny new toy.
In a flurry of news on Monday afternoon, the Patriots shocked just about everyone by going out and acquiring Josh Gordon. The receiver put together a historic season back in 2013, and though he’s been unable to do much in the years since, it’s enough to make Patriots fans’ hearts flutter.
But the big-name acquisition brings with it one conundrum: Gordon’s No. 12 is currently being worn by a member of the Patriots. And that member of the Patriots happens to be Tom Brady.
So, Gordon won’t be able to wear the No. 12, which he wore at Baylor and throughout this career with the Browns. That means he’ll need a new number. Considering receivers can wear Nos. 10-19 and Nos. 80-89, here’s a list of which numbers are currently available:
* = currently worn by a practice squad player or a player on IR
And now, some hard-hitting analysis.
Right off the bat, you can eliminate the following numbers:
No. 19 (gross)
Those numbers are all terrible. Objectively speaking. A 6-foot-3, 225-pound deep threat can’t be wearing No. 86. That’s ridiculous.
No. 14 should probably be ruled out because that’s what Brandin Cooks wore last year. Gordon wearing No. 14 would just lead to constant comparisons to Cooks, which wouldn’t benefit anyone. Gordon ought to leave that one alone.
The same deal goes for No. 81, but for different reasons. You’re either looking like Randy Moss (you don’t want those comparisons) or you’re looking like Aaron Hernandez (you really don’t want those comparisons). Just leave No. 81 at the bottom of the bin.
No. 80 is an interesting choice, but sporting the number of Troy Brown and Danny Amendola brings with it a great sense of responsibility. Really, it comes down to two numbers: 82 and 88.
No. 82 is probably the best choice. It keeps the “ending in 2” theme intact, and it doesn’t really draw to mind any great Patriots receivers (with all due respect to Josh Boyce and Vincent Brisby). It’s suitable for a fast player. It’s pretty solid.
But 88 wouldn’t be bad, either. It’s mostly been worn by tight ends in New England lately, but to a generation of Patriots fans, it will always belong to Terry Glenn. While Glenn may have never fully panned out the way the Patriots would have hoped, there’s no denying that he flashed with three dynamic seasons catching deep balls from Drew Bledsoe. The idea of another No. 88 going deep might get the people going.
As far as the low numbers go, No. 10 isn’t bad. It’s close to 12. So it’s got that going for it.
So concludes the most important sports story on the internet in 2018.
UPDATE: Josh Gordon has chosen the No. 10. As did the majority of you. Everybody’s happy.