List of National Football League retired numbers

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Teams in the National Football League (NFL) retire jersey numbers of players who either are considered by the team to have made significant contributions to that team's success, or who have experienced untimely deaths during their playing career. As with other leagues, once a team retires a player's jersey number, it never issues the number to any other player, unless the player or team explicitly allows it.

Since NFL teams began retiring numbers, 139 players have had their jersey number retired. The Chicago Bears have the most retired numbers of any team with 14. Only one player, Reggie White, has had their number retired by two teams. Three teams – the Oakland Raiders, the Atlanta Falcons,[1] and the Dallas Cowboys – traditionally do not retire jersey numbers, and two others – the Washington Redskins and the Pittsburgh Steelers – only do so in extremely rare circumstances.[citation needed] Also without a retired jersey number are the Baltimore Ravens, the Houston Texans, and the Jacksonville Jaguars, although those teams are less than 25 years old (although some numbers have been placed out of circulation).[2]

Unlike Major League Baseball (which retired Jackie Robinson's number) and the National Hockey League (which did so for Wayne Gretzky), the NFL has never retired a jersey number league-wide in honor of anyone. Numbers 0 and 00 are no longer allowed, but were not retired in honor of any particular player, since the NFL's positional numbering system, imposed in 1973, does not allocate a position for players wearing those numbers (the NFL allowed those numbers in the past; Johnny Olszewski, Obert Logan, Jim Otto and Ken Burrough all wore 0 or 00). The numbers can be, and rarely are, used in the preseason when no other numbers for a player's position are available.[3]

Retired numbers[edit]

Elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame
Jim Kelly in 2010
Jim Kelly, the first player to have his jersey number (12) officially retired by the Buffalo Bills, is seen here in 2010
Otto Graham in 1959
Otto Graham, whose number 14 was retired by the Browns, at his new job, as the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Athletic Director in 1959
Lenny Moore in 2011
Lenny Moore, whose number 24 was retired by the Colts, poses for a picture at Baltimore in 2011
Junior Seau in 2008
Junior Seau, whose number 55 was retired by the Chargers, in 2008 playing a game with the New England Patriots
Phil Simms in 2003
Phil Simms, whose number 11 was retired by the Giants, signing autographs at Rams Park in 2003
Gale Sayers giving a speech in 2008
Gale Sayers, whose number 40 was retired by the Bears, giving a keynote speech at an awards ceremony in 2008 for the U.S. Army High School Football Player of the Year award
Mike Ditka in the press booth of a pre-season football game
Mike Ditka, whose number 89 was retired by the Bears in a Monday night game against the Dallas Cowboys
Fran Tarkenton in 2010
Fran Tarkenton, whose number 10 was retired by the Vikings, after giving a speech at Atlanta in 2010
Warren Sapp visiting members of the US Navy
Warren Sapp (left), whose number 99 was retired by the Buccaneers, visits members of the US Navy in 2003
Player No. Team Years with team Date number retired Refs[4]
Larry Wilson 8 Arizona Cardinals 1960–72 1970
Pat Tillman 40 Arizona Cardinals 1998–2001
Stan Mauldin 77 Arizona Cardinals 1946–48
J. V. Cain 88 Arizona Cardinals 1974–78 1979
Marshall Goldberg 99 Arizona Cardinals 1939–43, 1946–48
Jim Kelly 12 Buffalo Bills 1986–96 November 19, 2001 [5]
Bruce Smith 78 Buffalo Bills 1985–99 September 15, 2016 [6]
Sam Mills 51 Carolina Panthers 1995–97 2005
Bronko Nagurski 3 Chicago Bears 1930–37, 1943
George McAfee 5 Chicago Bears 1940–41, 1945–50
George Halas 7 Chicago Bears 1920–28
Willie Galimore 28 Chicago Bears 1957–63
Walter Payton 34 Chicago Bears 1975–87
Gale Sayers 40 Chicago Bears 1965–71 October 31, 1994
Brian Piccolo 41 Chicago Bears 1965–69
Sid Luckman 42 Chicago Bears 1939–50
Dick Butkus 51 Chicago Bears 1965–73 October 31, 1994
Bill Hewitt 56 Chicago Bears 1932–36
Bill George 61 Chicago Bears 1952–65
Bulldog Turner 66 Chicago Bears 1940–52
Red Grange 77 Chicago Bears 1925–34
Mike Ditka 89 Chicago Bears 1961–66 December 9, 2013
Bob Johnson 54 Cincinnati Bengals 1968–79 December 17, 1978
Otto Graham 14 Cleveland Browns 1946–55
Jim Brown 32 Cleveland Browns 1957–65
Ernie Davis 45 Cleveland Browns 1962[7]
Don Fleming 46 Cleveland Browns 1960–62
Lou Groza 76 Cleveland Browns 1946–59, 1961–67
John Elway 7 Denver Broncos 1983–99
Frank Tripucka 18 Denver Broncos 1960–63 1963 [8]
Floyd Little 44 Denver Broncos 1967–75
Dutch Clark 7 Detroit Lions 1934–38
Barry Sanders 20 Detroit Lions 1989–98
Bobby Layne 22 Detroit Lions 1950–58
Doak Walker 37 Detroit Lions 1950–55
Joe Schmidt 56 Detroit Lions 1953–65
Chuck Hughes 85 Detroit Lions 1970–71
Tony Canadeo 3 Green Bay Packers 1941–52 1952
Brett Favre 4 Green Bay Packers 1992–2007 November 26, 2015
Don Hutson 14 Green Bay Packers 1935–45 December 2, 1951
Bart Starr 15 Green Bay Packers 1956–71 1973
Ray Nitschke 66 Green Bay Packers 1958–72 1983
Reggie White 92 Green Bay Packers 1993–98 September 18, 2005 [9]
Peyton Manning 18 Indianapolis Colts 1998–2011 October 8, 2017 [10]
Johnny Unitas 19 Indianapolis Colts 1956–72 [11]
Buddy Young 22 Indianapolis Colts 1953–55 [11]
Lenny Moore 24 Indianapolis Colts 1956–67 [11]
Art Donovan 70 Indianapolis Colts 1953–61 1962 [11]
Jim Parker 77 Indianapolis Colts 1957–67 [11]
Raymond Berry 82 Indianapolis Colts 1955–67 [11]
Gino Marchetti 89 Indianapolis Colts 1953–66 [11]
Jan Stenerud 3 Kansas City Chiefs 1967–79 August 24, 1992
Len Dawson 16 Kansas City Chiefs 1962–75
Emmitt Thomas 18 Kansas City Chiefs 1966–78 October 19, 2008 [12]
Abner Haynes 28 Kansas City Chiefs 1960–74
Stone Johnson 33 Kansas City Chiefs 1963 September 8, 1963 [13]
Mack Lee Hill 36 Kansas City Chiefs 1964–65
Derrick Thomas 58 Kansas City Chiefs 1989–99 December 6, 2009 [14]
Willie Lanier 63 Kansas City Chiefs 1967–77 August 24, 1992
Bobby Bell 78 Kansas City Chiefs 1963–74 1984
Buck Buchanan 86 Kansas City Chiefs 1963–75 August 24, 1992
Dan Fouts 14 Los Angeles Chargers 1973–87
Lance Alworth 19 Los Angeles Chargers 1962–70 November 20, 2005 [15]
LaDainian Tomlinson 21 Los Angeles Chargers 2001–09 November 21, 2015 [16]
Junior Seau 55 Los Angeles Chargers 1990–02 May 11, 2012 [17]
Bob Waterfield 7 Los Angeles Rams 1945–52 1952
Marshall Faulk 28 Los Angeles Rams 1999–2006 December 21, 2007 [18]
Eric Dickerson 29 Los Angeles Rams 1983–87
Merlin Olsen 74 Los Angeles Rams 1962–76
Deacon Jones 75 Los Angeles Rams 1961–71 September 27, 2009 [19]
Jackie Slater 78 Los Angeles Rams 1976–95
Isaac Bruce 80 Los Angeles Rams 1994–2007 October 31, 2010 [20]
Jack Youngblood 85 Los Angeles Rams 1971–84
Bob Griese 12 Miami Dolphins 1967–80 1985
Dan Marino 13 Miami Dolphins 1983–99 November 23, 2003
Larry Csonka 39 Miami Dolphins 1968–74, 1979 2002
Fran Tarkenton 10 Minnesota Vikings 1961–66, 1972–78 October 7, 1979
Mick Tingelhoff 53 Minnesota Vikings 1962–78 November 25, 2001
Jim Marshall 70 Minnesota Vikings 1961–79 November 28, 1999
Korey Stringer 77 Minnesota Vikings 1995–2000 November 19, 2001
Cris Carter 80 Minnesota Vikings 1990–2001 September 14, 2003
Alan Page 88 Minnesota Vikings 1967–78 September 25, 1988
Gino Cappelletti 20 New England Patriots 1960–70 [21]
Mike Haynes 40 New England Patriots 1976–82 [22]
Steve Nelson 57 New England Patriots 1974–87 July 11, 1988 [22]
John Hannah 73 New England Patriots 1973–85 [22]
Bruce Armstrong 78 New England Patriots 1987–2000 2000 [22]
Jim Lee Hunt 79 New England Patriots 1960–70 [22]
Bob Dee 89 New England Patriots 1960–67 [22]
Jim Taylor 31 New Orleans Saints 1967
Doug Atkins 81 New Orleans Saints 1967–69 December 19, 1969
Ray Flaherty 1 New York Giants 1928–35
Tuffy Leemans 4 New York Giants 1936–43
Mel Hein 7 New York Giants 1931–45
Phil Simms 11 New York Giants 1979–93 September 4, 1995
Ward Cuff 14 New York Giants 1937–45 [23]
Y. A. Tittle 14 New York Giants 1961–64 1965
Frank Gifford 16 New York Giants 1952–64 October 19, 2000
Al Blozis 32 New York Giants 1942–44 1945
Joe Morrison 40 New York Giants 1959–72 1970
Charlie Conerly 42 New York Giants 1948–61 1962
Ken Strong 50 New York Giants 1936–47 Prior to 1968
Lawrence Taylor 56 New York Giants 1981–93 October 11, 1994
Joe Namath 12 New York Jets 1965–76 October 14, 1985
Don Maynard 13 New York Jets 1963–72
Curtis Martin 28 New York Jets 1998–2005 September 9, 2012 [24]
Joe Klecko 73 New York Jets 1977–87 December 26, 2004
Dennis Byrd 90 New York Jets 1989–92 October 28, 2012 [25][26]
Donovan McNabb 5 Philadelphia Eagles 1999–2009 September 20, 2013 [27]
Steve Van Buren 15 Philadelphia Eagles 1944–51 1951 [28]
Brian Dawkins 20 Philadelphia Eagles 1996–2008 September 30, 2012 [29]
Tom Brookshier 40 Philadelphia Eagles 1953–61 1962 [28]
Pete Retzlaff 44 Philadelphia Eagles 1956–66 1965 [28]
Chuck Bednarik 60 Philadelphia Eagles 1949–62
Al Wistert 70 Philadelphia Eagles 1944–51 1952 [28]
Reggie White 92 Philadelphia Eagles 1985–92 December 5, 2005 [28][30]
Jerome Brown 99 Philadelphia Eagles 1987–91 September 6, 1992 [28][31]
Ernie Stautner 70 Pittsburgh Steelers 1950–63 October 25, 1964
Joe Greene 75 Pittsburgh Steelers 1969–81 November 2, 2014 [32]
Steve Young 8 San Francisco 49ers 1987–99 October 5, 2008 [33]
John Brodie 12 San Francisco 49ers 1957–73 [34]
Joe Montana 16 San Francisco 49ers 1979–92 December 15, 1997
Joe Perry 34 San Francisco 49ers 1948–60 1971
Jimmy Johnson 37 San Francisco 49ers 1961–76 1977
Hugh McElhenny 39 San Francisco 49ers 1952–60
Ronnie Lott 42 San Francisco 49ers 1981–90 November 17, 2003 [35]
Charlie Krueger 70 San Francisco 49ers 1959–73 1974
Leo Nomellini 73 San Francisco 49ers 1950–63 1971
Bob St. Clair 79 San Francisco 49ers 1953–63 December 2, 2001
Jerry Rice 80 San Francisco 49ers 1985–2000 September 20, 2010 [36]
Dwight Clark 87 San Francisco 49ers 1979–87 1988
Kenny Easley 45 Seattle Seahawks 1981–87 October 1, 2017
Walter Jones 71 Seattle Seahawks 1997–2009 December 5, 2010
Steve Largent 80 Seattle Seahawks 1976–89 1992 [37]
Cortez Kennedy 96 Seattle Seahawks 1990–2000 October 14, 2012 [38][39]
Fans (12th man) 12 Seattle Seahawks 1984– December 15, 1984
Derrick Brooks 55 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1995–08 September 14, 2014 [40]
Lee Roy Selmon 63 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1976–84 September 15, 1986
Warren Sapp 99 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1995–03 November 11, 2013 [41]
Warren Moon 1 Tennessee Titans 1984–93 October 1, 2006 [42][43]
Earl Campbell 34 Tennessee Titans 1978–84 August 13, 1987
Jim Norton 43 Tennessee Titans 1960–68
Mike Munchak 63 Tennessee Titans 1982–93 1996
Elvin Bethea 65 Tennessee Titans 1968–83
Bruce Matthews 74 Tennessee Titans 1983–2001
Sammy Baugh 33 Washington Redskins 1937–52

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Atlanta Falcons Ring Of Honor". AtlantaFalcons.com. 
  2. ^ Team Encyclopedias and Records - Pro-Football-Reference.com
  3. ^ "The 00 Fad: It's Much Ado About Nothing". The Chicago Tribune. May 27, 1990. 
  4. ^ "NFL Retired Player Numbers". NFL.com. National Football League. Retrieved January 28, 2017. 
  5. ^ The Times newspaper 2001-12-19, scanned and uploaded to Google News, retrieved 2011-12-06
  6. ^ Bills’ Bruce Smith to have jersey number retired at 2016 home opener. WIVB-TV (May 10, 2016). Retrieved May 10, 2016.
  7. ^ Davis was a member of the 1962 Browns team but due to a bout of cancer that at the time was in remission, coach Paul Brown refused to play him. The cancer returned later in 1962, eventually killing Davis in the 1963 offseason. Ernie Davis biography
  8. ^ Peyton Manning received permission from Frank Tripucka to wear No. 18 during his time with the Broncos.
  9. ^ "Packers retire Reggie White's jersey" Archived 2012-04-26 at the Wayback Machine., 1999-10-11
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ a b c d e f g Played for the Colts while the franchise was at Baltimore.
  12. ^ "Kansas City Chiefs to retire Emmitt Thomas' number" - KC Chiefs online Archived 2012-03-21 at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ Johnson died from injuries sustained in the 1963 preseason, his rookie campaign. Stone Johnson died 50 years ago from injury in NFL game
  14. ^ "Chiefs retire Thomas' No. 58 at half" - ESPN, 2009-12-06
  15. ^ "On a banner day for Alworth, Chargers retire jersey No. 19", The San Diego Union Tribune, 2005-11-21
  16. ^ "Chargers To Retire LaDainian Tomlinson's Number"
  17. ^ ESPN, 2012-05-11
  18. ^ "Rams retire Faulk's No. 28 jersey at halftime", NFL news (official), 2007-12-22
  19. ^ "Rams retire Jones' No. 75 jersey", ESPN, 2009-09-27
  20. ^ "Rams retire Isaac Bruce's number", ESPN, 31 October 2010
  21. ^ "Gino Cappelletti: New England" - Taste of the NFL website
  22. ^ a b c d e f "Patriots Grogan and Bledsoe Caught in Retired Numbers Game" - Bleacher Report
  23. ^ http://prod.static.giants.clubs.nfl.com/assets/docs/pdf/giants-history.pdf
  24. ^ "Curtis Martin has jersey number retired by Jets", Daynews, 9 September 2012
  25. ^ Cimini, Rich (October 24, 2012). "The bond no man could break". ESPNNewYork.com. Retrieved October 24, 2012. 
  26. ^ Lange, Randy (October 28, 2012). "Jets Come Up Empty in 30-9 Loss to Dolphins". NewYorkJets.com. Retrieved October 29, 2012. 
  27. ^ "Donovan McNabb cheered in Philly"
  28. ^ a b c d e f Daily Philadelphian.com Archived 2012-05-13 at the Wayback Machine., 2011-08-14
  29. ^ Dawkins Speaks, Number Retired
  30. ^ "Eagles honor Reggie White, retire his jersey", ESPN, 2005-12-05
  31. ^ "Eagles make sure no one wears 99 again" - The Morning Call, 1992-09-07
  32. ^ http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/steelers/2014/11/02/Jersey-retirement-brings-out-the-emotions-in-Mean-Joe-Greene/stories/201411020265
  33. ^ "49ers to retire Young's #8", TSN website, 2008-09-25
  34. ^ Trent Dilfer received permission from Brodie, a personal friend, to wear #12 during his time with the 49ers."Dilfer to wear longtime hero Brodie's No. 12", ESPN, 2006-07-28
  35. ^ "49ers to retire Lott's jersey" - SF Gate.com, 2003-11-06
  36. ^ "49ers retire Jerry Rice's number at half" - ESPN, 2010-09-21
  37. ^ Jerry Rice received permission from Largent to wear #80 during his time with the Seahawks."Seahawks/NFL: Loan of No. 80 a class act by Hawks' classiest", 2004-10-22
  38. ^ "Seahawks retire Cortez Kennedy's No. 96", King5.com Archived 2013-12-03 at the Wayback Machine., 14 October 2012
  39. ^ "Hawks to retire Cortez Kennedy’s jersey", The News Tribune, 11 October 2012
  40. ^ Brooks' #55 To Be Retired
  41. ^ "Bucs to retire Warren Sapp's No. 99", 2013-05-02
  42. ^ "Titans Retire Warren Moon's No. 1", 2010-10-06
  43. ^ Retired jersey numbers on Titans website