Ah, the jersey exchange.
For this generation of players, trading jerseys with old, college friends or just their favorite opponent, has become commonplace. Even after a bitter defeat — like the Broncos loss to the Cleveland Browns, basically ending Denver’s playoff aspirations — trading jerseys can still be a cool way to see how players bond and even look up to one another.
After that loss to the Browns, rookie sensation Phillip Lindsay traded his jersey with fellow rookie Baker Mayfield, as seen here in a picture by Ed Werder.
— Ed Werder (@EdwerderRFA) December 16, 2018
They didn’t just trade jerseys and sign them, but Lindsay and Mayfield left each other personalized messages, too.
“PL – Keep proving them wrong! Make ’em believe!” Mayfield’s says to Lindsay.
“You the man. I’m proud of you. Keep balling. Under dog!” says Lindsay’s jersey, as Mayfield holds it proudly.
Wildly, these two couldn’t be from more different spectrums in terms of how they started their NFL careers. Mayfield was the highly touted, Heisman Trophy winning quarterback who went as the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NFL draft.
In fact, John Elway and the Broncos were reportedly high on Mayfield before the draft, requesting to have Vance Joseph and the team’s staff coach him during the Senior Bowl, and their request was granted. It’s possible, that if Mayfield slipped to No. 5 where the Broncos eventually picked Bradley Chubb, that they may have taken the explosive quarterback instead.
Of course, Lindsay wasn’t drafted at all and he’s enjoyed the kind of breakout season that kids only dream of. That became even more a dream come true for Lindsay because he grew up in Denver, idolized Terrell Davis and is a life-long Broncos fan.
Unfortunately for Lindsay, who enjoyed an incredible first 12 weeks of his NFL career, the last two games have been two of his worst. He’s only been able to total 54 yards with one touchdown. Have defenses adjusted and discovered a way to slow him down, or does the blame need to fall on the shoulders of the offensive line and offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave?
Either way, this was a cool moment after the game on Saturday night, and it’ll be interesting to see which player enjoys a more illustrious career going forward. Hopefully, both of them realize much more success as the next generation of players takes over the league.