Houston Texans wide receiver Stefon Diggs
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Texans made one of the biggest moves of the NFL offseason by pulling off the Stefon Diggs trade, adding the All-Pro wide receiver to support quarterback C.J. Stroud in 2024. Not only did the Texans pay a steep price to land Diggs, but Diggs also gave up a lot to change his jersey number.

Diggs has spent his entire NFL career wearing the No. 14. Entering the league as a fifth-round pick with the Minnesota Vikings, he had very little choice when it came to picking the number on the back of his uniform. Even as he emerged as a 1,000-yard receiver in Minnesota, he kept the No. 14 jersey.

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  • Stefon Diggs contract (Spotrac): $22.015 million base salary in 2024, 2025 NFL free agent

When Diggs was traded to the Buffalo Bills in March 2020, it provided him with a fresh start after a tumultuous end to his time with the Vikings. While he welcomed the change of scenery, the Pro Bowl wideout stuck to the jersey number he’d worn throughout his NFL career. Now headed to his third team, in another much-needed fresh start for all parties, Diggs will be wearing a new number in 2024.

  • Stefon Diggs stats (ESPN): 107 receptions, 1,183 receiving yards, 8 touchdowns

According to Aaron Wilson of NBC’s KPRC 2 Houston, Diggs paid approximately $100,000 so he could switch to the No. 1 for the upcoming season.

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The number, previously worn by safety Jimmie Ward, is a callback for Diggs. He wore the No. 1 as an All-Big Ten wide receiver for the Maryland Terrapins and he wore that same number at Good Counsel High School in Maryland.

It’s an expensive price tag, but one that is often required by the NFL for players who want to change their jersey number. The NFL states that any player who wants to change their number must buy out all the old jerseys that still have their old number on them at retail price. So, Diggs essentially had to buy as many of Ward’s jerseys as the NFL had in stock.

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Fortunately for Diggs, he can easily afford it. According to NFL.com, as part of the trade, the Texans eliminated the final three years of Diggs’ contract and raised his salary from $8.5 million to $22 million this year. Plus, with the final years of his original contract wiped out, Diggs can cash in as a top NFL free agent in 2025.

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