Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins is planning to change from No. 85 at the end of the season, and there’s an interesting reason behind his decision.
On Thursday, Higgins confirmed he would switch to No. 5 after the season is over. The move is largely because he doesn’t want to be compared to former Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson, who is so closely associated with the number that he once legally changed his last name to “Ochocinco.”
“I keep seeing on Twitter, ‘Ochocinco 2.0,'” Higgins said, via Ben Baby of ESPN. “I don’t want to be a 2.0. No disrespect to Chad. He’s a great receiver, this and that. I just don’t want to be a 2.0 for myself, man. I want to be Tee Higgins, 1.0, No. 5.”
It’s honestly a pretty great reason to make a change like that. Johnson is one of the most accomplished players in Bengals history, and Higgins wants to carve out his own niche in the organization. It would definitely be harder to do that if he’s wearing the number of another iconic player.
Johnson still has some ties to the Bengals organization and associates with them from time to time. It’s a bit surprising the number isn’t retired, but Higgins is vacating it either way.