NFL Players Allowed to Hold Jersey Swaps by Mail amid COVID-19 Pandemic

NFL Players Allowed to Hold Jersey Swaps by Mail amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, left, and Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson pose for photographers after swapping jerseys after an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019, in Baltimore. The Ravens won 41-7. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Nick Wass/Associated Press

Before they can exchange jerseys, NFL players will first have to exchange addresses. 

Among the many changes for the upcoming season amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL prohibited players from swapping jerseys at the end of games. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, jersey swaps are sticking around, but the process will be a bit more complex:

Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero

Jersey exchanges are back on for 2020 — sort of.

The NFL informed clubs tonight it is partnering with Tide, which will cover the cost of one replacement jersey per player — all washed first and exchanged by mail.

On-field exchanges prohibited, and subject to club discipline. https://t.co/c7hJeDDvVy

A number of players criticized the league’s initial rule, questioning how trading jerseys warranted special consideration given how much close contact happens over the course of a game.

The tradition of jersey exchanges is more commonly associated with soccer. The New York Times‘ Billy Witz wrote it dates back to at least 1931 and carries a number of different interpretations. The practice has grown exponentially in the NFL in recent years.

Doing so sets players back a pretty penny. NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco reported giving away game-worn jerseys comes with a $500 price tag for those who take part.

It appears that won’t be the case for at least one jersey during the 2020 season, though.

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