Stew Milne/USA Today Sports

Duron Harmon explains he switched to No. 21 because he needed change

Ryan Hannable
May 22, 2018 - 2:12 pm

FOXBORO -- Watching the first OTA session open to the media on Tuesday, it was a strange sight seeing safety Duron Harmon wearing No. 21 as he switched from No. 30 this offseason.

Afterwards, Harmon explained he was planning on switching numbers even before Jason McCourty (who is now wearing No. 30) joined the team.

“I kind of just wanted a change,” Harmon said. “After the Super Bowl, I was just looking at where I was as a player, as a person, and I felt like it was a point for me to change. I think once Jason got here, it was just kind of a voice that just let me know it was certain to be.

"So I just went on, gave the number to Jason, and literally, 21 was the best-looking number that we had to offer, so I just went with that.” 

Harmon did note he was taken care of by McCourty.

“He took care of me,” Harmon said. “No specifics, but he made sure that I was rewarded for the number and that my family would be good. He made sure that I could go over to the pro shop and get all my family, and probably more, some new jerseys [with] No. 21.” 

It wasn't a smooth offseason for Harmon, who shortly after the Super Bowl was found at a Costa Rican airport with marijuana in his luggage. He was detained and sent back to the United States.

After releasing a statement via social media at the time expressing disappointment and owning what happened, he reiterated that again Tuesday.

“Obviously, it was a disappointment,” Harmon said “As a captain of this football team, that’s not how you want to represent this team. So it was a lot of disappointment. But the good thing from my standpoint was [the Patriots] were supportive of me. They never turned their back on me. They told me, from top to bottom, that we’re going to get through this together. ‘Obviously, it’s not something we’re proud of, but it’s something we’re going to have to get through. We’re going to be here for you the whole way.’ And they have been literally that for me. They’ve been a rock for me, along with my family and my teammates, and I’m just very, very appreciative of them.” 

Harmon added the NFL hasn't been in contact with him regarding the incident.

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