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D.J. Swearinger pays Redskins teammate $75K for jersey number

One of the more interesting byproducts of the annual NFL free agency frenzy is how players joining new teams often make it a mission to somehow keep their old jersey number.

It’s of course often the case that a player on the free agent signee’s new team already has the coveted number. So, some sort of arrangement — usually financial — is agreed upon where the new player gets the number and the player who relinquished it gets a nice payday.

And now, we can add new Washington Redskins safety D.J. Swearinger to the list of players who forked over a significant sum of money just to keep their cherished number.

Swearinger has agreed to pay a whopping $75,000 to new teammate Su’a Cravens for the No. 36 jersey.

It’s worth noting that Swearinger has a few compelling reasons to covet the No. 36 jersey so much. He has worn No. 36 since high school in tribute to the late Miami Hurricane and Redskins safety Sean Taylor, among other familial reasons.

“I grew up watching the Miami Hurricanes,” Swearinger said, via the Redskins’ official website, as transcribed by CBS Sports. “Then when [Taylor] got to the [NFL], and I think his rookie year was my freshman year [in high school] and he had 36, and I ended up getting 36. It was also a family number: My dad wore 36, and my uncle [also wore 36].”

Taylor actually switched to No. 21 from No. 36 after his rookie season, and that number hasn’t been worn by any Redskins player since Taylor was murdered in 2007.

Swearinger, whose three-year, $13.5 million deal with the Redskins includes $9 million in guaranteed money, obviously is flush with cash, so parting with seventy-five grand isn’t going to hurt his bank account all that much.

Cravens, meanwhile, will earn only approximately $651,000 next season. Not a bad chunk of change in that respect.

Even better? Cravens took to Twitter to point out he’s okay with the number switch and appreciates why Swearinger wanted the number so badly. Cravens also notes he’ll now be wearing No. 30.

A win-win, indeed.

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