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Number, Please: Aaron Rodgers Says He'll Wear Jersey No. 8 as a Jet

Joe Namath Has Said QB Could Wear His Retired 12, but A-Rod Goes with His Number from 2003-04 at Cal


Aaron Rodgers introduced himself to the New York Jets, their team and their fans today in a news conference at the team's Florham Park, NJ, headquarters.

And during the news conference, the legendary quarterback introduced the Jets and the rest of the NFL to a change in his gameday appearance for the 2023 season: He will wear uniform No. 8 on the field this year, not the No. 12 he sported in his first 18 often magical NFL seasons with the Green Bay Packers.

Uniform No. 12, of course, was worn famously by Joe Namath, from his Jets rookie season of 1965 through 1968 and Super Bowl III and on to his last season in green and white in 1976. The Jets retired the number in 1985, the same year Namath was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

"There are some iconic names that have played here, probably none more iconic than number 12,," Rodgers said at his introductory news conference. "And I heard what he said about unretiring his number, but to me, 12 is Broadway Joe and I didn't even want to go down that path. And I'm excited about going back to my college number."

Namath responded today to Rodgers' selection, and Broadway Joe threw in a bit of his own numerology.

"Like all Jets fans, I'm thrilled about having Aaron on our team!" Namath texted the team today. "I sincerely appreciate his respect for the history of our organization and my contributions to it. Now let's end a TWELVE year drought to make the playoffs!!!"

See images of the No. 8 jersey that Aaron Rodgers will wear with the New York Jets.

After all the speculation about Rodgers' selection of a jersey number, he turned to his favorite multiples of four for the answer to what he'll wear on his chest and back for the Green & White.. He wore No. 8 at the University of California in 2003-04, when he and the Golden Bears put together a combined 18-8 record with two bowl appearances to set the stage for Rodgers' first-round drafting by the Pack in 2005.

Before that, Rodgers wore No. 4 for a season at Butte Community College in 2002. And before that, he was 12 for the first time, at Pleasant Valley HS in Chico, CA.

Interestingly, Rodgers will become the eighth player in Jets franchise history to wear No. 8 in the regular season. The list includes P Greg Gantt, QB Browning Nagle, K Nick Lowery, QB Mark Brunell, K Randy Bullock, QB Luke Falk and Moore. And A-Rod will become the fourth Jets QB to ever wear it.

But it's about more than multiples of any number for the Jets' new No. 8.

"There's something special about playing in a city, for a team like this with a storied franchise," he said. "Obviously, going way, way back to Super Bowl III, to be a part of something special would definitely help you go down in the history of an organization. I already have 18 years in an incredibly iconic organization. And it'd be fun to be a part of the history of this one as well."

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