New York Giants share incredible story behind Kayvon Thibodeaux swapping jerseys with Graham Gano
Former Oregon standout Kayvon Thibodeaux will look a bit different on the field next season, but one thing will stay the same.
The New York Giants’ rookie will wear No. 5 to start his NFL career, the same number he wore while in Eugene. The Giants took to Twitter Monday to show off Thibodeaux’s official jersey with the caption “Thibodeaux got it.”
Thibodeaux got it 👀 pic.twitter.com/CgugYafpd4
— New York Giants (@Giants) May 9, 2022
That jersey number belonged to kicker Graham Gano last season, and the story behind how he and Thibodeaux worked out a deal for it to change hands is remarkable.
“I was like, man, I guarantee if we draft him, he’s going to want my number,” Gano told Giants team writer Dan Salomone.
At Thibodeaux’s introductory press conference with the Giants, he was asked about the number and said with a smile that Gano was a tough negotiator.
“We’re talking real numbers,” said Thibodeaux. “When you tell somebody 250, I don’t know what 250 means. You forget all the zeros behind it. Things are a lot different now. But, yeah, he’s a great guy. We’re gonna build a relationship and I’m gonna be able to really get into it. We’re gonna talk about it.”
As it turned out, it didn’t take quite that much to sway Gano.
The number swap led to a $50,000 donation from Thibodeaux to Puppies Behind Bars, an organization that provides service dogs for wounded war veterans and first responders and explosive-detection canines for law enforcement.
“The opportunity to give to something is exciting, and the number is obviously very special to Kayvon,” Gano said, according to Salomone. “While it is special to me as well, there’s a whole lot of meaning in that No. 5 to him. I just wanted to be a good teammate and also be able to support others throughout the whole process.”
Gano will switch to No. 9. Thibodeaux will get to keep a number that has a great deal of personal significance to him. And a great cause was helped in the process. Wins all around.