Changing jersey number for Raiders' Porter would cost him $210,000
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- When Jerry Porter switched his number this offseason, he said he was ready for a new start and a new attitude after feuding last season with former coach Art Shell.
That attitude change has a price, though, and Porter is not willing to pay it.
The Oakland Raiders receiver said Wednesday he would have to pay $210,000 to switch his uniform from No. 84 to 81 in order to reimburse the team and Reebok for the cost of the unsold jerseys.
"Man, there's a couple of nice cars I'd like to get for that money," Porter said. "I could buy a nice vacation home, or at least go half on one with someone else."
NFL spokesman Steve Alic said Porter could wait until next year, when the supply of unsold shirts would be depleted and the cost would be less, before making the change.
"The more advance notice a player can provide when requesting a number change, the less chance there is of financial ramifications," Alic said.
Porter was still wearing No. 81 at the Raiders' practice on Wednesday, but said he would switch back to his old number for the season even though he liked the new look.
"It's slimming," he said. "It's faster. It was working. Oh well."
Porter had a run-in with Shell over offseason workout plans soon after the coach was hired last February. The receiver also made public a trade demand at the start of training camp. Porter was inactive the first four games of the season and then suspended for insubordination.
The suspension was cut from four games to two after an appeal, but Porter played only sparingly after that, finishing the season with one catch.
That's what led to Porter's desire for the change and his new coach has liked his receiver's attitude.
"We couldn't ask more of what he's doing right now," Lane Kiffin said. "He's here every day. He's here early, he's staying late, he's working hard. & He looks like he's out here like he's trying to win a spot, and he is."
Kiffin is counting on Porter to play a key role on the offense, especially following the offseason trade of Randy Moss to New England. Porter led the team in receptions in 2004 and '05 with 140 catches for 1,940 yards and 14 touchdowns over the two seasons.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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