Da Boot Sports
Article courtesy of WWL Radio Sports
By: Jeff Nowak
The No. 8 isn't technically retired by the Saints, but no one has worn Archie Manning's number since his final season in New Orleans nearly four decades ago.
But with NFL rule changes, single-digit numbers can now be worn by skill position players, leading a pair of players new to the roster to request the No. 8, according to a report from NOLA.com's Jeff Duncan.
Those players were second-year wide receiver Easop Winston Jr. and former Falcons and Giants running back Devonta Freeman. Both were told the number was off-limits, according to Duncan, an unofficial tradition to honor Manning that started with former equipment manager Dan Simmons. Current equipment manager John Baumgartner has continued that tradition, though it's a policy that previously only had to contend with specialists and QBs if they picked a single-digit number.
Freeman landed on No. 34, while Winston donned No. 18.
Both new players can be forgiven for not knowing the policy surrounding Archie's No. 8, but the lone other single-digit number not currently being worn might indicate a new policy emerging. A handful of players have thrown on the No. 6 thus far this season, including Tommylee Lewis, Prince Amukamara, Brett Maher, and now newly signed kicker Aldrick Rosas. Wide receiver Marquez Callaway also took advantage of the new rules to switch from the No. 12 he wore in his rookie season to the No. 1.
But no one has yet donned the No. 9 worn for 15 seasons by Drew Brees before his retirement this offseason. Kamara joked after Friday's practice at the Caesars Superdome that he wants a shot at the starting quarterback job, and he'd wear No. 9 in Brees' honor.
That seems unlikely, as does any other player taking over the mantle of No. 9, given the history.