Peterson will keep No. 28 … for now
Adrian Peterson (Jeremy Brevard/US Presswire)
Adrian Peterson (Jeremy Brevard/US Presswire)
Posted Feb 2, 2012

Adrian Peterson considered a switch in jersey numbers, but he tweeted that it would cost him $1 million to make the change, a fee he wasn’t willing to pay.

Adrian Peterson will keep his uniform the same for the Minnesota Vikings — for now.

Don’t get rid of those purple No. 28 jerseys just yet.

The star running back said in a series of posts on his Twitter page on Wednesday that he balked at switching because he was told he would have to pay $1 million to cover all the unsold jerseys already produced with his current number.

That’s been NFL policy: Players interested in changing numbers must apply by March of the year in which they want to switch, and they have to buy the unused inventory to compensate the manufacturer.

The league is making a move from Reebok to Nike, creating the potential for players to change without charge, but spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an e-mail on Wednesday the league hasn’t finalized the number-switch policy for 2012.

Peterson said last week on Twitter he was pondering picking either No. 23 or No. 21, posting that No. 28 “has been good” to him but that he felt it was time for something new. Vikings cornerbacks Cedric Griffin and Asher Allen currently have No. 23 and No. 21, respectively, but players in all sports over the years have persuaded — financially or otherwise — teammates to trade them a coveted or customary number.

Peterson is rehabilitating from reconstructive surgery on his left knee after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in late December. He needed 17 tweets — sometimes 140 characters just isn’t enough — to share his point of view on the number-switch policy and the origin of his No. 28. (He said he wanted No. 29 in high school in honor of Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson, but his team didn’t have it. So he picked No. 28.)

Peterson acknowledged criticism from some of his Twitter followers for complaining about the money. But he replied that the decision was an “easy one” not to “waste that type of money just to change a number on my work uniform.”

He said the purported $1 million change fee “blew my mind,” including five exclamation points at the end of that particular post.

Peterson declined further comment through Vikings spokesman Jeff Anderson.

Jerseys are about the most noticeable way for fans to show their allegiance and get into the spirit of the games each Sunday, and stadiums around the league each week are filled with folks wearing replicas of the uniform tops worn by the NFL’s biggest stars.

They aren’t cheap, either, so they aren’t likely to be used for rags around the house. There are always a handful of long-outdated jerseys spotted dotting the seats, whether for players who retired, moved on to other teams or simply changed numbers.

When Randy Moss first joined the Vikings in 1998, he briefly wore No. 18 before switching to the more-traditional No. 84 for a wide receiver. But every once in a while, a No. 18 Vikings jersey with Moss on the back is spotted at a Vikings game or somewhere around Minnesota.

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