New England Patriots

Defensive back Jalen Mills #31 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates after making a tackle against the Indianapolis Colts during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on September 23, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Elsa/Getty Images)

Snooze ya lose, Brian Hoyer.

There’s a new No. 2 in New England, and it’s a defensive back – a new face, too. Patriots free-agent signing Jalen Mills revealed via Twitter on Monday that he will wear No. 2 in the 2021 season. He joins linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley (No. 8) as the second Patriot to switch to a single-digit jersey number under the league’s modified rules.

Interestingly enough, Hoyer, who re-signed with the Patriots this week, is still listed at as wearing No. 2. Mills might have to buy the number from the veteran quarterback. Hoyer has certainly spent a lot more time in Foxboro than he has.

The Patriots reportedly voted against the rule change regarding jersey numbers, and Bill Belichick in particular wasn’t a fan of it. But clearly, the head coach isn’t going to make a stink about it if a player wants to wear an unconventional number.

Tom Brady also hated the jersey number rule change. So don’t be surprised if Belichick sends Mills and/or Bentley in on the occasional blitz when the Bucs come to town in Week 4, if only just to screw with him.

MORE: Tom Brady really hates the NFL’s rule changes

Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at