Jets wide receiver Braylon Edwards went through the first practice of his second go-around with the team wearing No. 17, as if he never left.
No. 17 was worn throughout the season by rookie wide receiver Jordan White. White has played in one game this season and has yet to register his first NFL catch. Now sitting on the other side of the locker room, White wore the No. 89 jersey for the first time ever on Thursday as he willingly gave up the jersey to the veteran Edwards.
“I paid my respects; a number is just a number for me. I didn’t wear No. 17 in college. They gave me the option and I picked this one. Braylon saw me today and he said ‘I had nothing to do with this,’” White said. “I knew that though and it was totally fine. I was glad to do it for him.”
To his credit, White noted that his new No. 89 is the same as former Jets wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery.
Yesterday, head coach Rex Ryan approached White in the hallway at the Jets facility and told him the team had agreed to terms with Edwards. Ryan made it clear to White that Edwards wore No. 17 here with the Jets for two seasons prior to leaving the team, but at no point in the conversation did Ryan try to force a number change.
Instead, White said he understood what Ryan was trying to say and he got the importance of the number to a player loved by the Jets’ fan base.
“It was something I wanted to do and the number meant much more to him than me,” White said. “I was glad to give it to him. They didn’t have to ask and they didn’t. I was happy to do it. If I was a veteran in the league and had worn that number, I’d want it to.”
But now comes the fun issue for White: compensation. It is a time honored tradition in locker rooms that when a veteran player comes in and takes a number there has to be some exchange as part of the process. White said he “isn’t looking for $20,000 or something like that” but he clearly has thought about it over the past 24 hours.
“I am thinking maybe dinner and some shout outs [on Twitter]. Something like that,” White said. “Also maybe some stupid crap, like something you see in SkyMall magazine. You know, stuff that you don’t need and you wonder, ‘Who buys this stuff in Sky Mall?’ but you really want it. Something obnoxious, ridiculous things you don’t need.”
It seems as though White clearly delved into this realm before and is ready to broker a deal.
“There’s something I saw — the complete collection of John F. Kennedy half-dollar coins. It’s random. I’m going to think of something ignorant,” White said. “I’m not big on this but I know how it goes. Some odd, SkyMall thing I don’t need. Something I’d never buy.
“Maybe a 40-foot reindeer blowup. I saw that on there too. That’s something I’d never buy. I might go with that. We’ll see what he says.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.