Permission from Danny Amendola Granted
Patriots newcomer Jordan Matthews will be wearing a rather familiar number in the Fall.
Jordan Matthews says he will wear No. 80. Says he has a lot of respect for Danny Amendola, who had No. 80, and knows him well.
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) April 12, 2018
It’s quite amazing how fast things change. Danny Amendola will always have a small spot here in New England regardless if he is with the Miami Dolphins. But according to sources, Jordan Matthews requested to wear Amendola’s former jersey, no.80. For some, this is quite saddening, but for longtime fans, it could be a sign of good things to come.
The number is often associated with former Patriots player, Troy Brown, who was a part of the Patriots first three Super Bowls in the 2000s. In addition, former players like Irvin Fryer, who was the first overall pick in 1984, wore number 80 (That’s right, the Patriots in 1984, picked a WR first overall in the draft, dark times indeed), and Don Hasselback who played Tight End for the Patriots in the late 70s (he would be the father of future NFL QB, Matt Hasselback who was the starting QB for the Seattle Seahawks of the 2000s).
Matthews on April 12th talked with the media and confirmed that he got permission from Amendola.
I called him before I got it. Yeah, I was just making sure because, like I said, I know what he did here. I don’t think that you have to get a number retired and all that stuff to understand you need to have respect for what guys do in a place like this – especially, I think they call him “Danny Playoff,” and I think he earned that nickname.
Fitting In With The Team
I know I’m late but I wanted to take the first couple of days to really reflect on how far the Lord has brought me and what He’s calling me to do in New England. The opportunity to play for the Patriots is the ultimate honor and I’m excited to get to work with the guys! LETS GO!! pic.twitter.com/nro7cRfc9i
— Jordan Matthews (@jmattjmattjmatt) April 8, 2018
Many players have asked former or current players for permission to use their jersey number. Stephon Gilmore, last year, requested the number 24 from Patriots player, Cyrus Jones. Many teams go through this, its how free agency works. Which is why the Patriots have remained so successful even now.
The Patriots culture has been one that can draw in many players across the league. Not just for the slogan ‘Do Your Job’, but for the fact that it’s a culture of winning. It’s incredibly difficult yet what Belichick and Brady have done is nothing but remarkable. This ideal, or the Patriot Way, has made New England a hot spot for free agency. Matthews took note of the atmosphere at the Patriots facility:
I think sometimes in the offseason it’s easy to kind of slip into that kind of monotonous mindset and just saying, ‘OK, we’re just bringing people in,’ or whatever. But there was a lot of intentionality during the visit. They were very detailed. They were very specific with me on what they thought about me and areas that they thought I could grow in. I appreciated that more than anything.
Buying into the Patriots way is the main key, and it seems that Matthews is more than satisfied with what he has seen thus far. While Matthews last year got hampered by injuries, it is likely he wants to use this opportunity to prove himself. Being the nephew of Hall of Famer, Jerry Rice, is a strong motivator for Matthews. In fact, his uncle was part of the reason why he choice the number 80 in the first place.
When I was a kid, yeah. That was the first number I ever wore playing football was No. 80. I wore 80. I guess my brother was a traitor, but he was more St. Louis. His favorite player was Marshall Faulk, so not Jerry, but he wore [No.] 28. So, those were our numbers. Yeah, that’s kind of why I wanted to go back to that.
We will have to see if Matthews can live up to that claim.