Todd Gurley is getting a fresh start with the Atlanta Falcons, and his choice of a new uniform number goes against the wishes of a team legend.
Gurley has made the choice to switch to No. 21 this season, and former Falcon and Hall-of-Famer Deion Sanders had advised the running back not to wear the uniform.
“Prime was hatin’ on me. He told me don’t wear it,” Gurley said in an interview with the radio station 92.9 The Game in Atlanta. “If I was Prime, I wouldn’t want nobody be wearing my number either.”
Gurley did not make clear why he chose the number Sanders made famous in the first stop of his eventual Hall-of-Fame career. As a Rams player, Gurley wore No. 30 and played with the No. 3 jersey at the University of Georgia. The Falcons have a franchise policy of not retiring numbers of past players.
Gurley signed a one-year deal with the Falcons worth $3.5 million on April 6. The Rams released Gurley after a five-year stint and the 25-year-old struggled last season, rushing for a career-low 857 yards in 15 games. Gurley said Friday he is ready to help add to a talented Falcons offensive core, which includes quarterback Matt Ryan and wide receivers Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley.
“Each year you’ve got to prove yourself,” Gurley said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re an All-Pro or a Pro Bowler the year before or you made it the year of. Nobody cares about what you’re doing in this league, you’ve got to prove yourself each week, you’ve got to prove yourself each year. … You’ve got to leave your mark while you can and definitely try to be the best you can. That’s why I picked the Falcons to be able to still create my legacy and try to be the best player I can be. Like I said, I know what I’m capable of, I’ve done it before.”
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