New York Jets running back Chris Johnson had to do a little more than just select a new number as he begins a new chapter after six seasons with the Tennessee Titans.
Former West Virginia and current Jets defensive back Ellis Lankster sold his No. 21 to Johnson after the running back choose the number from the available numbers from the franchise. The No. 28, the number that Johnson wore since his rookie season in 2008, wasn’t available to be selected as the franchise retired the number in 2012 to honor longtime Jets running back Curtis Martin.
Lankster confirmed the number transaction with the reasoning that who would turn down money Sunday evening on his Twitter account. The cost of Johnson buying the jersey number from Lankster was not divulged by either of the two players at this moment.
The deal for the No. 21 jersey makes sense as Johnson prepares to likely be the starting running back this season, while Lankster has started just one game and collected 55 tackles in his three seasons with the Jets.
With Johnson taking the No. 21 jersey, Lankster will switch to No. 31, which was worn most recently by current Arizona Cardinals cornerback Antonio Cromartie.
The Jets kickoff their preseason slate of games hosting the Indianapolis Colts on August 7, and again hosting the Oakland Raiders in the 2014 season opener on September 7.