Drafted: 2004, 13th overall pick
Career Stats with the Bills: 377 receptions, 5934 receiving yards, 43 touchdowns
Any player who wears No. 83 has big shoes to fill, considering it was the same number worn by Hall of Famer Andre Reed. Lee Evans was initially assigned No. 84, however, being Lee Evans III and wearing No. 3 in college, he wanted that number.
In 2011, Chris Brown of Buffalobills.com wrote about this issue:
When Lee Evans came to the Bills as a number one draft choice in 2004, he was issued number 84. Having worn jersey number 3 at Wisconsin, Evans knew that was not an option by league rule for a receiver. But being Lee Evans III and having worn 3 in some form on his jersey his whole football career he wanted 83.
Brown also spoke with Bills equipment manager Dave Hojnowski:
Basically we don’t use those numbers again until we check with Mr. Wilson. After getting the okay there I also did have to place a call to San Diego to Andre and tell him myself, 'Look as a courtesy I’m letting you know that we’re issuing your number.' So he asked me who and I told him it was Lee Evans and he said, 'Okay, he’ll do the number proud.'
Evans went on to have a productive career with the Bills averaging 53.9 receptions, 847.7 yards and 6.1 touchdowns per season. His career with Buffalo ended before the 2011 season when he was traded to Baltimore for a fourth-round pick.
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