Todd Gurley will be wearing the No. 21 with the Atlanta Falcons, but he says his decision didn’t come with Deion Sanders’ blessing.
The running back was asked Friday on Atlanta radio station 92.9 The Game whether he asked Sanders if he could wear the number “Prime Time” wore for the Falcons during the first five seasons of his Hall of Fame career.
“Prime was hatin’ on me. He told me don’t wear it,” Gurley said.
Asked why Sanders objected, he said: “Cause it’s Prime. If I was Prime, I wouldn’t want nobody wearing my number either.”
On Sunday, Sanders tweeted that he was joking with Gurley.
Thank u for your love but it ain’t that deep to me. I was joking with @TG3II I love that youngsta and proud that he will represent it right. I love these kids that play today and wish them all well. “A NUMBER DIDN’T MAKE PRIME PRIME MADE THE NUMBER. #Truth Man they have a DEION https://t.co/nn2ZN4HvYs
— Deion Sanders (@DeionSanders) April 12, 2020
Cornerback Desmond Trufant wore the No. 21 for the Falcons the past seven seasons but was released by Atlanta this offseason. Gurley wore the No. 30 during his first five NFL seasons with the Rams.
He wore the No. 3 while starring at the University of Georgia and was asked during the interview whether he would ever consider wearing the number in the NFL.
“Unfortunately the way the NFL works, that’s not going to happen,” he said. “That’s going to be the last thing that happens, trust me.”
Per NFL rules, a running back’s uniform number must be from 20 to 49.
The Falcons’ organization does not retire numbers; the Ring of Honor, though, does pay tribute to certain players. Sanders was honored in the 2010 class.