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Back With the Colts, Dominic Rhodes Might Buy No. 33 From Melvin Bullitt

May 18, 2008 – 10:01 AM
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Michael David Smith

Michael David Smith %BloggerTitle%

The guy you see on the right wearing the No. 33 Colts jersey is Melvin Bullitt, a defensive back entering his second season after making the team as an undrafted rookie in 2007.

Handing Bullitt No. 33 last year was an afterthought -- at the time he got it, the coaches didn't even expect him to make the roster, meaning they thought no one would wear 33 all year. But the jersey number was somewhat significant because for the previous six years, it belonged to running back Dominic Rhodes.

Now Rhodes is back with the Colts, and he wants his jersey number back. He's currently wearing No. 38, while Bullitt keeps 33, but Rhodes hopes a financial arrangement could be worked out that would allow them to trade jerseys.

"I've offered him some good money,'' Rhodes said. "He's just not biting right now.''

It's actually quite common for veterans like Rhodes, who has made millions in his career, to purchase a jersey number from youngsters like Bullitt, who made the league minimum in his only NFL season. But there's a sticking point in this case because Bullitt wears 33 to honor his father, Jerry Bullitt, who wore 33 as a linebacker at Texas A&M.

"I kind of feel like when I'm wearing (No. 33), a piece of my dad is with me when I'm on the field,'' Bullitt said.

When you put it like that, it's hard to picture Bullitt giving the number up. Unless Rhodes pays him a lot.
Filed under: Sports