New England Patriots

New England Patriots

New England Patriots cornerback Christian Gonzalez (50) sprints during 2023 training camp in Foxboro. (Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports)

They’re finally here! Leading up to today’s preseason opener against the Houston Texans, the New England Patriots released the updated jersey numbers for their 2023 rookie class.

For the last six years, Patriots rookies haven’t been given their jersey numbers outright. Instead, they’re given sequential numbers by draft pick, starting at No. 50 for the top overall pick.


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This is done regardless of position which leads to some players wearing numbers that wouldn’t be legal for their position in a game (ex. cornerback Christian Gonzalez has been wearing No. 50 so far in training camp, while wide receiver Demario Douglas is wearing No. 60). The concept is that the rookies have to ‘earn’ their real jersey number, which have been ‘rewarded’ before the first preseason game.

That being said, it’s important to keep in mind that the rookies’ ‘initial’ jersey numbers might not end up being their final ones. For example, defensive tackle Christian Barmore wore No. 70 his rookie preseason before switching to No. 90 after roster cuts, when more numbers became available. Just last year, cornerback Jack Jones wore No. 34 in the preseason, before switching to No. 13 prior to Week 1.


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For a few of the Patriots’ current rookies, this will likely be the case. Some have numbers that are already taken by players elsewhere on the roster.

Who will keep the numbers they’ve been assigned? Who will be back on the ‘new number’ list after roster cuts in a few weeks? Here’s a look at all the new rookie numbers to start the season, that will debut tonight against the Texans.

  • CB Christian Gonzalez: 19

    New England Patriots cornerback Christian Gonzalez at 2023 minicamp in Foxboro. (Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports)

    New England Patriots cornerback Christian Gonzalez at 2023 minicamp in Foxboro. (Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports)

    Despite his college No. 0 being available, Gonzalez is starting out in No. 19. Could he be a player that changes his number again before the regular season starts?

    If not, he’ll be the first Patriots player to wear No. 19 in a game since wide receiver Isaiah Zuber in 2020. Only nine players total have worn No. 19 in the 63-year history of the Patriots, most notably wide receiver Brandon LaFell from 2014-2015. For now, he’ll share the number with Trace McSorley.

  • DL Keion White: 99

    Jul 27, 2023; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots defensive end Keion White (51) works with a weight bag during training camp at Gillette Stadium. Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

    Jul 27, 2023; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots defensive end Keion White (51) works with a weight bag during training camp at Gillette Stadium. Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

    Somehow, the always-fun No. 99 wasn’t taken by any of the Patriots’ veterans. Jamie Collins had the number last year – before that it belongs to Byron Cowart from 2019-2021. Defensive tackle Mike Wright played seven years for the Patriots wearing No. 99 from 2005-2011.

    White getting No. 99 means it won’t go to rookie punter Bryce Baringer, who wore it in college. This past offseason, the NFL made it legal for kickers and punters to wear an expanded range of numbers – 0-49 and 90-99. White wore No. 6 in college at Georgia Tech, which is currently worn by Nick Folk.

  • LB Marte Mapu: 30

    Jun 12, 2023; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots linebacker Marte Mapu (52) pulls a sled at the Patriots minicamp at Gillette Stadium. Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

    Rookie Marte Mapu, coming off surgery, has been practicing in a red non-contact jersey. (Photo by Eric Canha-USA TODAY) Sports

    No. 30 is very fitting for Mapu, who has looked every bit the part of a hybrid linebacker/safety in training camp. He wore No. 5 in college, which is currently taken by Jabrill Peppers.Last year Mack Wilson wore No. 30, but switched to his college No. 3 this past spring.

    The Patriots have had a good amount of solid No. 30s in franchise history. That includes Duron Harmon, Jason McCourty, Mosi Tatupu, and Carl Garrett.

  • K Chad Ryland: 38

    Jun 12, 2023; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots place kicker Chad Ryland (62) warms up at the Patriots minicamp at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

    New England Patriots kicker Chad Ryland warms up during 2023 minicamp in Foxboro. (Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports)

    The NFL’s new numbering rules allow Ryland to keep his college jersey No. 38 – for now. Given it’s also worn by Rhamondre Stevenson, expect another change after final roster cuts when more numbers become available.

  • OL Jake Andrews: 67

    Jul 26, 2023; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots center Jake Andrews (53) makes his way to the practice fields for training camp at Gillette Stadium. Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

    Jul 26, 2023; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots center Jake Andrews (53) makes his way to the practice fields for training camp at Gillette Stadium. Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

    Andrews would be the first Patriots player to wear 67 since Ted Karras in 2021. The number has a strong history among interior offensive linemen in New England, between Bill Lenkaitis in the 1970s and Dan Koppen in the early 2000s.

  • OL Sidy Sow: 61

    Aug 1, 2023; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots guard Sidy Sow (54) works with the tackling sled during training camp at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

    New England Patriots tackle Sidy Sow (54) works with the tackling sled during 2023 training camp in Foxboro. (Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports)

    If Sow can find success moving from guard to tackle, he wouldn’t be the first player to do so wearing No. 61 for the Patriots. Marcus Cannon made that position change as well in the same number. Steve Neal and Sam Adams are other successful Patriots’ offensive linemen to wear the number.

  • OL Atonio Mafi: 68

    Jul 26, 2023; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots guard Atonio Mafi (55) makes his way to the practice fields for training camp at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

    New England Patriots guard Atonio Mafi makes his way to the practice fields for 2023 training camp in Foxboro. (Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports)

    Offensive tackle Will Sherman was the last Patriots player to wear No. 68 in a game – he did so for one game in 2021. The last Patriots player to wear No. 68 for a full season was LaAdrian Waddle in 2018.

  • WR Kayshon Boutte: 80

    New England Patriots wide receiver Kayshon Boutte (58) makes a catch during 2023 training camp in Foxboro. (Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports)

    New England Patriots wide receiver Kayshon Boutte (58) makes a catch during 2023 training camp in Foxboro. (Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports)

    No. 80 is a great wide receiver number – especially in New England. In addition to current wide receivers coach Troy Brown – who is probably best associated with the number – Danny Amendola, Irving Fryar, Don Hasselbeck, and Gunner Olszewski have also been playmakers for the Patriots wearing 80.

    Nobody else on the Patriots’ roster currently wears the number, and his high school and college numbers (No. 1 and No. 7, respectively) are both taken by roster locks in DeVante Parker and JuJu Smith-Schuster. So, this one could stick.

  • WR Demario Douglas: 81

    Jun 12, 2023; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Demario Douglas (60) runs after making a catch at the Patriots minicamp at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

    New England Patriots wide receiver Demario Douglas runs after making a catch at 2023 minicamp in Foxboro. (Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports)

    Douglas has a lot to live up to this number. Randy Moss had arguably the greatest wide receiver season in NFL history wearing No. 81 for the Patriots.

    Mack Wilson currently wears Douglas’ college No. 3. So he very well could end up sticking with No. 81.

  • P Bryce Baringer: 9

    Jun 12, 2023; Foxborough, MA, USA;New England Patriots punter Bryce Baringer (59) warms up at the Patriots minicamp at Gillette Stadium. Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

    Jun 12, 2023; Foxborough, MA, USA;New England Patriots punter Bryce Baringer (59) warms up at the Patriots minicamp at Gillette Stadium. Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

    Baringer loses a digit from his college number, going from No. 99 to No. 9. Of course, that number is currently taken by Matthew Judon. So, Baringer is another player who we can expect to change between now and the start of the regular season.

  • CB Ameer Speed: 28

    Cornerback Ameer Speed at New England Patriots training camp.

    Cornerback Ameer Speed at New England Patriots training camp. (Alex Barth/98.5 The Sports Hub)

    Following the retirement of James White, the Patriots hadn’t re-issued No. 28. Speed would be the first player to wear it since.

    For the most part, No. 28 has been a running back number in New England. In addition to White, Corey Dillon and Curtis Martin both wore it. The last defensive player to wear No. 28 for the Patriots was Steve Gregory from 2012-2013.

  • CB Isaiah Bolden: 7

    Patriots cornerback Isaiah Bolden during a conditioning drill at training camp. (Katie Bennert, 98.5 The Sports Hub)

    Patriots cornerback Isaiah Bolden during a conditioning drill at training camp. (Katie Bennert, 98.5 The Sports Hub)

    With JuJu Smith-Schuster wearing No. 7, this one probably won’t stick for Bolden. However, all of his previous numbers are taken. He wore No. 23 (currently worn in New England by Kyle Dugger) at Jackson State, No. 29 (currently worn by Brad Hawkins) at Florida State before that, and No. 3 (Mack Wilson) in high school.

  • LB/ST Jourdan Heilig: 37

    Jun 12, 2023; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots linebacker Jourdan Heilig (66) works out at the Patriots minicamp at Gillette Stadium. Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

    Jun 12, 2023; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots linebacker Jourdan Heilig (66) works out at the Patriots minicamp at Gillette Stadium. Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

    Heilig gets No. 37, which was vacated by the departure of Damien Harris in the offseason. If he wants to keep it he can, as it was never reissued to the incoming free agent class.

    Only eight Patriots have worn No. 37 in regular season games in Patriots history. That includes some big names though, like Rodney Harrison and Maurice Hurst.

  • TE Johnny Lumpkin: 83

    Aug 3, 2023; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots tight end Johnny Lumpkin (65) makes a catch at training camp at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

    New England Patriots tight end Johnny Lumpkin makes a catch at 2023 training camp in Foxboro. (Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports)

    No. 83 has mostly been a wide receiver number in New England, worn by the likes of Wes Welker and Deion Branch. Last year, Lil’Jordan Humphrey wore it during his brief stint with the team. A couple of tight ends have worn it too though, like Rod Rutledge and Dwayne Allen.

    Lumpkin wore No. 88 in college. That’s currently taken by fellow tight end Mike Gesicki. No other player on the roster currently has No. 83.

  • DL Justus Tavai: 94

    Jul 27, 2023; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots defensive lineman Justus Tavai (68) waits to do a drill during training camp at Gillette Stadium. Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

    Jul 27, 2023; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots defensive lineman Justus Tavai (68) waits to do a drill during training camp at Gillette Stadium. Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

    Tavai gets the previously open No. 94, after wearing No. 91 in college. No. 94 hasn’t been wore regularly for the Patriots since Ty Warren from 2003-2009. Henry Anderson last wore it in 2021.

  • QB/WR Malik Cuningham: 16

    Jul 26, 2023; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Malik Cunningham (64) makes a catch during training camp at Gillette Stadium. Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

    Jul 26, 2023; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Malik Cunningham (64) makes a catch during training camp at Gillette Stadium. Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

    No. 16 hadn’t been re-issued since the departure of Jakobi Meyers this offseason. Now, the number goes to another quarterback-turned-wide receiver in Cunningham.

    Other notable No. 16s in Patriots history include quarterbacks Jim Plunkett, Matt Cassell, and Scott Zolak. Wide receiver Kamar Aiken is the only other player to wear No. 16 in a game for the Patriots – he did so for exactly one game in 2012.

  • WR Thyrick Pitts: 13

    Aug 1, 2023; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Thyrick Pitts (13) runs with the ball during training camp at Gillette Stadium. Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

    Aug 1, 2023; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Thyrick Pitts (13) runs with the ball during training camp at Gillette Stadium. Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

    Pitts, who was signed during camp, will be sharing his number with Jack Jones for the time being. Should he make the team, he’d likely get a new number.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.

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