When cornerback Keenan Lewis and linebacker Victor Butler signed as free agents with the New Orleans Saints, they knew they would get a change of scenery. The two new players have also got new numbers that they are sporting for the Saints as they head towards the new season.
It started with Lewis and running back Mark Ingram. Ingram wore #22 when he was with the University of Alabama. Players try to keep their college numbers when they enter the NFL but Ingram had one problem when he was drafted in 2011: cornerback Tracy Porter was wearing Ingram's college number and wasn't giving it up.
Ingram settled for #28 which was the reverse of the number his father wore as a wide receiver in the NFL, #82. It was also the number, the 28th pick, Ingram and his father were drafted in the first round (Ingram, Sr. in 1987). When Porter left the Saints last season, Ingram held onto his #28.
Ingram then decided to switch with Lewis upon his arrival and he took his old college #22 while Lewis took #28 as his new number. Lewis was #23 with the Pittsburgh Steelers but running back Pierre Thomas currently has that number. Lewis could have gone with his college number while he was at Oregon State, but he was #6 then and defensive backs aren't allowed single digit numbers.
Speaking of college numbers, that brings us to Butler, who had to go a little retro. Butler wore #57 in his time with the Dallas Cowboys but wasn't able to get it with the Saints because linebacker David Hawthorne currently has that number, which he also wore with the Seattle Seahawks.
According to the Saints website, Butler has been issued #90 as his current number. This is the same one that he wore when he was at Oregon State, where he and Lewis were both teammates by the way.
While both are getting settled into their new surroundings and numbers, there is one question left to be answered: What will Tracy Porter do if he is re-signed by Saints?
Let the numbers game continue.