Aiden O'Connell's reason for changing his jersey number will make Raiders fans smile

What a guy.
San Francisco 49ers v Las Vegas Raiders
San Francisco 49ers v Las Vegas Raiders / Michael Owens/GettyImages

The 2023 season was Aidan O'Connell's rookie year and he went on to start 10 games for the Las Vegas Raiders during his rookie campaign. O'Connell wore a familiar jersey number during his rookie season, rocking No. 4. This was a familiar jersey to Raiders fans because it's the jersey number that former Raiders quarterback Derek Carr wore during his nine years with the organization.

It was a weird sight seeing someone that wasn't Carr wearing No. 4 but it appears that's part of the reason why O'Connell is swapping jersey numbers this offseason. O'Connell will be donning jersey No. 12 in 2024 and likely beyond.

When asked why O'Connell wouldn't wearing No. 4 anymore, he said it was disrespectful to Carr.

"“I just didn’t want to be four anymore,” O’Connell said. “I didn’t pick four. I was actually nine and then Tyree [Wilson] wanted nine. So they gave nine to Tyree in the first week I was here, then they gave me four and as a rookie you just kind of do what you’re told, so I was cool with it. When the offseason came, it felt to me it was Derek’s number. He wore it for that long and he’s a franchise leader and all that stuff. It felt disrespectful, so I just wanted to give that back to him.”"

From Michael David Smith's article

Aidan O'Connell gave up No. 4 because he felt it was disrespectful to Derek Carr

As Raiders fans know, Carr was a second-round pick by the Raiders in 2014 and went on to play for them for nine years. He finished his Raiders tenure as the all-time passing leader for the franchise and things didn't end on a great note.

Carr signed with the New Orleans Saints in the offseason and did okay during his first year there. It was weird not seeing him taking snaps for the Raiders but it's good to know that O'Connell felt enough appreciation for the former Raiders signal-caller that he gave up the jersey number and credited Carr as to why he was doing it. What a guy.