49ers news: 4 players who could switch jersey numbers
By Peter Panacy
No. 1: 49ers tight end George Kittle
Well, wouldn’t this be fun.
It would admittedly be weird to see All-Pro tight end George Kittle wearing anything else but his almost-patented No. 85 jersey. And if he continues his NFL trajectory on pace with how it’s gone so far, it wouldn’t be shocking to see the 49ers eventually retire No. 85, as Kittle goes down as one of the team’s all-time bests.
But, hey. The Los Angeles Lakers retired the late great Kobe Bryant’s two jerseys, Nos. 8 and 24. So maybe it’s not too far out of the question.
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Why would Kittle want to change his number anyway? After all, the recent rule change didn’t need to include allowing tight ends to wear numbers in the 40s. Remember San Francisco’s old tight end, Delanie Walker? He was No. 46 during his 49ers days.
Still, Kittle wore No. 46 back in college when he was at Iowa. And unlike Deebo Samuel, Kittle’s Twitter and Instagram handles include his collegiate jersey number, too — @gkittle46.
So he wouldn’t have to fit and/or beg whichever user on either platform owns @gkittle85, even though he never did that in the first place.
Yet if Kittle wanted to revert back to his college-level number, he’d have to fight it out with the Niners’ long-snapper, Taybor Pepper, who’s currently wearing No. 46.
It’s hard to imagine Pepper surrendering that number without some serious compensation and/or gifts. Kittle can afford it, right?