8 Jersey Numbers That the Washington Redskins Need to Retire
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The only Redskin to ever have his number retired is Sammy Baugh (33), but that should be changed.
As one of the NFL’s most decorated franchises, the Washington Redskins have had a bevy of stars to take the field for them. Hall of Famers, Super Bowl winners and Pro Bowlers have not been foreign to the burgundy and gold.
There are several moments in this team’s history that could perfectly define this franchise—such as John Riggins’ touchdown run late against the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl XVII or Doug Williams’ MVP performance in Super Bowl XXII.
These players—and others—have played major roles in the creation and development of this team’s legend, and they deserve to be honored in the highest way; by getting their jersey numbers retired.
When determining whether or not a guy has done enough to be bestowed this honor, there is much to consider. Super Bowl wins, records with the team and other honors like the Hall of Fame or Pro Bowls all go into deciding whether or not a guy should make the cut.
There were many players that had some of these things—and some that had many—but only eight made it onto this list.
Sam Huff, No. 70
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Although he never won a Super Bowl with the team, Sam Huff knew what he was doing on the defensive side of the ball.
He was a five-time Pro Bowler and earned All-Pro honors twice. In just five years with the Redskins, Huff recorded 12 interceptions and tallied six fumble recoveries.
He was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1982 after being a finalist in 1977 and 1978.
Huff was one of the most impactful players to ever put on a Redskins uniform, and while it is almost an unspoken law that no current Redskin is to request his number, it should still be officially off-limits.
Bobby Mitchell, No. 49
Bobby Mitchell was arguably the Redskin most resembling the versatility of a Swiss Army knife—ever. He terrorized defenses from both the running back position and the wide receiver position.
In seven years with the Redskins, Mitchell had a total of 6,930 yards and 51 touchdowns. He was a dynamite, home-run hitter of a player with versatility to match his skill.
He also played during the era of integration in the NFL, which made it even more impressive and historically important. Mitchell had at least 58 catches in six out of the seven seasons he was with the team.
His shiftiness and quick-cut ability was unmatched by many during the era he played in, and it would be hard to find another Redskin who was as dangerous with a football in his hands.
Sonny Jurgensen, No. 9
Here’s another Hall of Fame player whose number should be put down for good. Sonny Jurgensen wasn’t a physical specimen or anything, but boy, could he sling it.
He was a small quarterback at 5’11”, 202 pounds, but played as big as anyone on the field. Jurgensen was a five-time Pro Bowl selection and was also a two-time All-Pro. He was a Redskin for 11 years and threw for 22,585 yards with 108 touchdowns. Jurgensen’s bust made it into Canton in 1983 after being a finalist twice (1980, 1982).
There’s not a whole lot of NFL legends in Washington’s history, but Jurgensen is one of them. If he’s good enough for the Hall of Fame, he’s good enough to have his jersey retired.
Monte Coleman, No. 51
Monte Coleman was a beast of a linebacker.
Monte Coleman, an 11th-round draft pick (yes, they used to last that long, kids), was a big part of Washington’s golden era. He played in four Super Bowls with the team, winning three of them.
Coleman had 999 tackles during his time with the Redskins and is fourth in team history in sacks (56.5). He is just one of three men who played 16+ seasons with the team (Sammy Baugh and Darrell Green being the other two) and was a pillar of its defense for years.
Art Monk, No. 81
Hall of Famer Art Monk is one of the most dynamic receivers in franchise history.
Monk spent 14 years in Washington, reeling in 888 passes for 12,026 yards and a whopping 65 touchdowns. He was a big reason why both Joe Theismann and Doug Williams had the success that they did; Monk was a big, lanky target with great hands and speed.
He was a three-time Pro Bowler and was named First-Team All-Pro once. After years of getting shafted by Hall of Fame voters, Monk was finally called to The Hall in 2008 alongside his long-time teammate and friend, Darrell Green. I mean, it was only right, right?
Regardless, Monk was a legendary receiver for the Redskins and there haven’t been many players who were more well-received and celebrated by Redskins Nation.
Charley Taylor, No. 42
Charley Taylor is one of the most versatile guys to ever lace ‘em up in RFK Stadium.
Similar to Mitchell, Taylor played both running back and receiver and excelled at both. He totaled 10,598 yards and an incredible 90 touchdowns during his 14 years in Washington.
Taylor’s jersey has been featured in the NFL Hall of Fame along with several other rare NFL memorabilia. He is a Hall of Famer, went to four straight Pro bowls twice (1964-1967, 1972-1975) and was an All-Pro in 1967.
Darrell Green, No. 28
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When it comes to football’s “ironmen”, there are a few names that come to mind.
There’s Chuck Bednarik, the Philadelphia Eagles legend who was one of the last “60-minute men”, and then there was Darrell Green, a speedy corner who played all 20 years of his career with the Redskins.
The Hall of Fame defender recorded 1,159 tackles along with 54 interceptions, returning six of them for scores.
Green was the consummate professional on and off the field, and was the definition of consistency during his time in the league. It is time that he has his legacy cemented in Redskins history forever. After all, there’s not a higher honor a team can give a player.
John Riggins, No. 44
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You could make a strong argument that there was never a more beloved player in Washington than Riggo.
John Riggins was a powerful workhorse of a running back whose personality shined bright throughout his NFL career.
The fondest memory that many Redskins fans have of The Diesel is his touchdown run against the Dolphins in the Super Bowl, propelling Washington to victory.
He is the franchise’s all-time leading rusher and finished his career with 7,472 yards and 79 touchdowns. No. 44 may not have broken many NFL records, but his style of play wasn’t conducive to big numbers—it wasn’t pretty, it was simply effective.
Riggins’ name is held near and dear to the hearts of Skins fans everywhere, and he has a résumé worthy of being given this honor.