Charles Barkley can relax. There is no need to call Dan Marino, as the basketball great suggests, and ask the Hall of Fame quarterback to let Tua Tagovailoa wear the No. 13 the Dolphins retired years ago in honor of the greatest player in franchise history.
Tagovailoa, the No. 5 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, literally has said his jersey number “doesn’t matter.” And based on NFL jersey sales, Miami fans appear to agree.
Tagovailoa will wear No. 1 with the Dolphins. An NFL spokesman confirmed to ESPN that jersey is both the highest seller and the second highest seller since the draft on the NFL’s official merchandise site. Tagovailoa’s aqua Miami jersey ranks first, and his white Miami jersey ranks second.
Below are the 10 top sellers on the NFL’s site as of mid-May.
NFL jersey sales
|Rank||Player||Team||Jersey color||Price point|
The jersey sales rankings are not surprising given the seismic nature of Tom Brady’s free-agency move from the Patriots to the Buccaneers. Brady had dominated jersey sales for years in New England, so his arrival in Tampa Bay gives fans a new inventory of jersey options.
The only mild surprise on the list is that so many appear interested in the more expensive editions of Brady’s Buccaneers jerseys. (Nike’s “Vapor Limited” jersey for $150 features enhancements like stitched numbers and a more flexible fabric as opposed to its “Game” jersey for $100.)
As for Tagovailoa, his jersey sales confirm his status as the most intriguing draft selection of 2020. His new number matches his attitude about a fresh start in Miami.
“For me, I’m not too worried about what number I have,” said Tagovailoa, who wore No. 13 at Alabama. “I understand No. 13 is retired, and it should be. Dan Marino, he’s the GOAT. He’s like the mayor out there, and I have much respect for him.”
Speaking of GOATs, it’s fitting that Tagovailoa has an edge over Brady, even in an off-field category. After years of dealing with Brady in the AFC East, the Dolphins will take any small victory over him they can get.