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The Price of No. 87

Eric Decker just signed a five-year, $36.25 million dollar deal with the Jets.

And now he’s at least $25,000 poorer.

Decker has paid that sum of money to new teammate Jeff Cumberland for the right to wear No. 87 for his tenure in New York. He’s also agreeing to pay the tab for a Cumberland steak dinner.

I love it on both ends. Why? Cumberland wore No. 86 for his first three seasons before wearing 87 last year. He doesn’t have any attachment to the number. He made a savvy business transaction in trading the number for a nice bonus – and a delicious meal.

And for Decker? Some people do have an emotional attachment to their number. He’s probably been wearing it since he was a kid. In a lot of cases, your number becomes part of your identity. It’s synonymous with you. Decker just had to have it, and he offered up a fair deal for it.

This kind of thing happens all the time. Former Giants punter Jeff Feagles sold his No. 10 to Eli Manning for a week-paid vacation in Florida. When A.J. Burnett signed with the Pirates, he started a college fund for pitcher Daniel McCutchen in exchange for No. 34.

And if “The Team” has a softball team this summer, you can bet that I’ll be giving up something in exchange for No. 16.

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