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Eagles' Jalen Mills Draws Inspiration from Kobe, LeBron for Jersey Number Change

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 31, 2020

Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills plays during an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Matt Rourke/Associated Press

Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Jalen Mills is changing numbers this offseason, comparing himself to several NBA stars who had similar movements during their careers.

The 25-year-old wore No. 31 for his first four seasons in the NFL but is switching to No. 21 in 2020:

As he explained, per Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports, the move is a lot like that of Kobe Bryant and LeBron James:

"I think the number change is just a new beginning. One of the guys that always motivated me was a Kobe Bryant or a LeBron James. You see Kobe went from 8 to 24, you know, LeBron went from 6 to 23 (LeBron actually went from 23 to 6 to 23). It’s just recreating myself. Recreating that Green Goblin, that monster. It’s a new position, it’s a new feel, and it’s going to be new energy."

Mills will also be moving from cornerback to safety as he tries to reinvent himself at this level.

Interestingly, new Eagles cornerback Darius Slay is also changing his number from No. 23 to No. 24, which is specifically to honor Kobe Bryant.

"I’m going Kobe mode," Slay said, per John Clark of NBC Sports. "I will look good in 24."

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