4:31 PM ET
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – You’ve got to exude confidence to play cornerback in the NFL, and Carolina Panthers rookie James Bradberry showed a big dose of it when he chose his jersey number.
He went with No. 24.
That number belonged to Pro Bowl cornerback Josh Norman two weeks before the draft, in which Bradberry was selected in the second round. Then on April 20, the Panthers rescinded Norman’s franchise tag, making him — and his number — available.
“When I picked the number I was just picking a nice number,” Bradberry said Friday as the Panthers began a two-day rookie camp. “I’ve seen guys in the past [wear it], like Champ Bailey, Darrelle Revis. … Of course I saw Josh Norman play in it last year.
“I just liked the number. They didn’t have 21. That was my college number, so I picked 24.”
OK, so 21 belonged to Teddy Williams.
But Bradberry didn’t have to pick 24. No. 26 was available, had he wanted to stay in the 20s. And there were numbers in the 30s and 40s that weren’t taken.
That Bradberry took 24 showed he’s not shying away from replacing the player that wore it before him.
“It wasn’t any like any shade or shout-out to him,” Bradberry said. “I just wanted to pick the number.”
Bradberry was one of three cornerbacks the Panthers selected with their five draft picks. West Virginia’s Daryl Worley (third round) and Oklahoma’s Zack Sanchez (fifth) were the other two.
That Bradberry was chosen before the others theoretically moved him to the top of the list to replace Norman, now with the Washington Redskins after getting a five-year, $75 million deal.
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