Written by Luis Sung | Twitter: @FLSportDebater
Back at the University of Tennessee, first-round draft pick Ja'Wuan James wore the number 70 and he wore it proudly. Now after a long, arduous negotiating session, he finally has that number again. The previous wearer whom he had to negotiate with for the privilege of wearing the number 70 was none other than second-year player, and also James' former college roommate at the University of Tennessee, Dallas Thomas, and there were jokes flying around all throughout training camp and the preseason that James was trying to find a way to get his old number back from Thomas.
“Finally got it,” James said. “Happy about it. I knew it was going to get done, but we didn’t know about the circumstances about which it would,” James said. “When we discussed before, he was waiting to try to figure out what number was going to open up. We wanted to do right before preseason, but he wasn’t sure what number he wanted. He didn’t want 72, so we waited until just now where we had to, the deadline before we could go out there.”
Thomas used to wear number 71 in college, but Pro Bowl left tackle Branden Albert certainly wasn't going to give up his number and so Thomas was forced to wait and see what number would open up. Eventually however, Thomas relinquished his number to James, for a price that is, but it was totally worth it for James just to have his old college number back.
“Gotta take him to a couple nice dinners at Prime 112, places like that,” James said. “But it’s going to be worth it at the end. I’m glad I got my number back.”
Thomas joked about how James was a tough negotiator, and considering how often it's implied that James asked Thomas, that may be another word for persistent. Regardless, he made sure to get something out of giving up the number.
“It wasn’t to go down without a fight,” he said. “Gotta have something in the back pocket. (It’s) Prime and just whatever I feel like. Let’s say I want to go somewhere on the beach it’s, let’s go, come on. He’s just got to treat me. That’s it.”