Jayden Daniels' jersey number for Commanders revealed after classy gesture

A new era dawns in Washington.
Jayden Daniels
Jayden Daniels / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A new era has officially dawned where the Washington Commanders are concerned. After one of the most eventful offseasons in franchise history, it's time to focus on preparations for the 2024 campaign. But there was one final matter to resolve beforehand.

After the Commanders selected Jayden Daniels at No. 2 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft, attention immediately turned to what number the prolific quarterback would wear at the next level. This rabid fanbase starved of genuine success for decades wants to buy jerseys and feel connected to their new franchise player as they begin to believe again.

Daniels wore No. 5 during his prolific college stint at LSU that concluded with a Heisman Trophy in 2023. This number was held by long-standing punter Tress Way, who's entering the final year of his deal but remains beloved by staff, players, and fans alike.

Jayden Daniels will wear No. 5 as Commanders QB1

Giving the number up for Daniels was a hot topic of debate among the fanbase. The only opinion that mattered was Way's. After discussions with family members and talking to the signal-caller, the Pro Bowler relinquished with a classy gesture.

No money changed hands, which tends to go on more often than not. Instead, Way wanted the chance to go to an LSU-Oklahoma game at Daniels' expense once he walked away from football entirely. Considering the lucrative contract the quarterback's about to sign and the esteem in which he is held in Baton Rouge, the punter is likely to get some red-carpet treatment when the time comes.

Some will say it's just a number, so what's the big deal? That's understandable in some cases, but one only has to listen to the emotion in Way's voice when discussing the significance of No. 5 to see how much it means. At the same time, he understands the level of excitement around the building and Daniels, in particular. As a team leader and captain, he felt like it was the right thing to do.

This is a testament to the sort of teammate and man Way is. He's selfless and willing to do whatever it takes to help the team after years of constant failure. It should also send a message to others within the locker room. They need to adopt a similar mindset under a different regime as the Commanders look to rise from obscurity and into contention.

Daniels' jerseys will now fly off the shelves. He's the star player with the fate of a franchise on his young shoulders. He cannot do it alone, but hopes are high that the dual-threat weapon can provide a spark under center that's been sorely lacking.

Way handled this situation with his customary class and dignity. It was difficult - that much is obvious - but he's intelligent enough to see what's unfolding and moved aside accordingly.

There are exciting times ahead for the Commanders. Daniels will be the catalyst and Way will also play a role. But this number switch is further proof everyone is pulling together in unison as they work towards one common goal.