Bucs Veteran WR Snatches New Jersey Number Amid Position Battle

Russell Gage

Getty Russell Gage wore a new jersey number on Tuesday during offseason workouts.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Russell Gage donned a new jersey number on Tuesday, May 2, amid a heightened wideout battle for offseason workouts.

Gage donned the No. 3 instead of his No. 17 from the 2022 season, and No. 3 notably was the college jersey number for Bucs rookie receiver Trey Palmer. A photographer caught it at the workout, which FOX Sports’ Greg Auman shared via Twitter.

The No. 3 became available this offseason because the Bucs released kicker Ryan Succop, who previously wore the number. Succop kicked for the Bucs for three seasons before the release, and he has yet to find a new team.

For Palmer, the No. 3 holds enough significance that he shared a photoshopped picture of himself as No. 3 with a Bucs uniform. He also includes the number on his Twitter handle.

Palmer, a recent sixth-round draft pick, notably only wore No. 3 for one season in college. He previously wore No. 33 for three seasons at LSU before he transferred to Nebraska.

Trey Palmer’s Career Took Flight at Nebraska

Things took off for Palmer at Nebraska after a limited role with LSU. Palmer only caught 41 passes for 458 yards and three touchdowns in 22 games. He tallied 71 receptions for 1,043 yards and nine touchdowns in 12 games for the Cornhuskers in 2022.

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“I really was just trying to help my team win and really just help everyone around me get better and do my job and [lead] by example and not just by talking,” Palmer told reporters on April 29. “I really just brought the LSU culture to Nebraska and took them in and they took me in, too. It really just took off from there.”

Palmer also notably played for the dominant unbeaten 2019 LSU national championship squad, quarterbacked by Joe Burrow. While Palmer played little that season, he saw the heights of the LSU program before up-and-down seasons in 2020 and 2021.

“It helped me practice like a pro because [those] guys practice like a pro,” Palmer said. “They taught me how to do things, how to learn things, and I took that from them and embodied it into myself and took that with me to Nebraska to show [those] guys how to practice like a pro, too.”

Trey Palmer Fits With Bucs, Could Push Russell Gage

Tampa Bay selected Palmer for his speed, a trait the Bucs looked for in Gage as a free agent acquisition the year before. Gage didn’t live up to expectations amid injury with 51 receptions for 426 yards and five touchdowns.

Palmer fits the Bucs’ mold under new offensive coordinator, Dave Canales, who left the Seattle Seahawks as a quarterbacks coach this offseason. At Nebraska, Palmer averaged 14.7 yards per reception.

“If you look at kind of the way Seattle’s been built the last couple years they’ve had guys like that,” Bucs vice president of player personnel John Spytek told the media on April 29. “They had Marquise Goodwin last year, they drafted D’Wayne Eskridge the year before that. Obviously DK [Metcalf] can run, Tyler Lockett can run.”

Whether or not Palmer will challenge Gage for the third receiver spot remains unknown, but Gage has Palmer’s favorite number, arguably, for now.

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