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 explicitly allows it.

Since the NFL 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 different teams. Three teams – the Oakland Raiders, the Atlanta Falcons,[1] and the Dallas Cowboys – traditionally do not retire jersey numbers, and three others – the Buffalo Bills, 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 20 years old (although some numbers have been placed out of circulation).[2]

Unlike Major League Baseball (who retired Jackie Robinson's number) and the National Hockey League (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 did allow those numbers in the past; Johnny Olszewski, Jim Otto and Ken Burrough all wore 0 or 00).[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
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
Player No. Team Years with team Refs[4]
Wilson, LarryLarry Wilson 8 Arizona Cardinals 1960—72
Tillman, PatPat Tillman 40 Arizona Cardinals 1998—2001
Mauldin, StanStan Mauldin 77 Arizona Cardinals 1946—48
Cain, J. V.J. V. Cain 88 Arizona Cardinals 1974—78
Goldberg, MarshallMarshall Goldberg 99 Arizona Cardinals 1939—43, 1946—48
Bartkowski, SteveSteve Bartkowski 10 Atlanta Falcons 1975—85
Andrews, WilliamWilliam Andrews 31 Atlanta Falcons 1979—83, 1986
Van Note, JeffJeff Van Note 57 Atlanta Falcons 1969—86
Nobis, TommyTommy Nobis 60 Atlanta Falcons 1966—1976
Kelly, JimJim Kelly 12 Buffalo Bills 1986—96 [5]
Smith, BruceBruce Smith 78 Buffalo Bills 1985—99 [6]
Mills, SamSam Mills 51 Carolina Panthers 1995—97
Nagurski, BronkoBronko Nagurski 3 Chicago Bears 1930—37, 1943
McAfee, GeorgeGeorge McAfee 5 Chicago Bears 1940—41, 1945—50
Halas, GeorgeGeorge Halas 7 Chicago Bears 1920—28
Galimore, WillieWillie Galimore 28 Chicago Bears 1957—63
Payton, WalterWalter Payton 34 Chicago Bears 1975—87
Sayers, GaleGale Sayers 40 Chicago Bears 1965—71
Piccolo, BrianBrian Piccolo 41 Chicago Bears 1965—69
Luckman, SidSid Luckman 42 Chicago Bears 1939—50
Butkus, DickDick Butkus 51 Chicago Bears 1965—73
Hewitt, BillBill Hewitt 56 Chicago Bears 1932—36
George, BillBill George 61 Chicago Bears 1952—65
Turner, BulldogBulldog Turner 66 Chicago Bears 1940—52
Grange, RedRed Grange 77 Chicago Bears 1925—34
Ditka, MikeMike Ditka 89 Chicago Bears 1961—66
Johnson, BobBob Johnson 54 Cincinnati Bengals 1968—79
Graham, OttoOtto Graham 14 Cleveland Browns 1946—55
Brown, JimJim Brown 32 Cleveland Browns 1957—65
Davis, ErnieErnie Davis 45 Cleveland Browns 1962[7]
Fleming, DonDon Fleming 46 Cleveland Browns 1960—62
Groza, LouLou Groza 76 Cleveland Browns 1946—59, 1961–67
Elway, JohnJohn Elway 7 Denver Broncos 1983—99
Tripucka, FrankFrank Tripucka 18 Denver Broncos 1960—63 [8]
Little, FloydFloyd Little 44 Denver Broncos 1967—75
Clark, DutchDutch Clark 7 Detroit Lions 1934—38
Sanders, BarryBarry Sanders 20 Detroit Lions 1989—98
Layne, BobbyBobby Layne 22 Detroit Lions 1950—58
Walker, DoakDoak Walker 37 Detroit Lions 1950—55
Schmidt, JoeJoe Schmidt 56 Detroit Lions 1953—65
Hughes, ChuckChuck Hughes 85 Detroit Lions 1970—71
Canadeo, TonyTony Canadeo 3 Green Bay Packers 1941—52
Favre, BrettBrett Favre 4 Green Bay Packers 1992—2007 [9]
Hutson, DonDon Hutson 14 Green Bay Packers 1935—45
Starr, BartBart Starr 15 Green Bay Packers 1956—71
Nitschke, RayRay Nitschke 66 Green Bay Packers 1958—72
White, ReggieReggie White 92 Green Bay Packers 1993—98 [10]
Manning, PeytonPeyton Manning 18 Indianapolis Colts 1998—2011 [11]
Unitas, JohnnyJohnny Unitas 19 Indianapolis Colts 1956—72 [12]
Young, BuddyBuddy Young 22 Indianapolis Colts 1953—55 [12]
Moore, LennyLenny Moore 24 Indianapolis Colts 1956—67 [12]
Donovan, ArtArt Donovan 70 Indianapolis Colts 1953—61 [12]
Parker, JimJim Parker 77 Indianapolis Colts 1957—67 [12]
Berry, RaymondRaymond Berry 82 Indianapolis Colts 1955—67 [12]
Marchetti, GinoGino Marchetti 89 Indianapolis Colts 1953—66 [12]
Stenerud, JanJan Stenerud 3 Kansas City Chiefs 1967—79
Dawson, LenLen Dawson 16 Kansas City Chiefs 1962—75
Thomas, EmmittEmmitt Thomas 18 Kansas City Chiefs 1966—78 [13]
Haynes, AbnerAbner Haynes 28 Kansas City Chiefs 1960—74
Johnson, StoneStone Johnson 33 Kansas City Chiefs 1963[14]
Hill, Mack LeeMack Lee Hill 36 Kansas City Chiefs 1964—65
Thomas, DerrickDerrick Thomas 58 Kansas City Chiefs 1989—99 [15]
Lanier, WillieWillie Lanier 63 Kansas City Chiefs 1967—77
Bell, BobbyBobby Bell 78 Kansas City Chiefs 1963—74
Buchanan, BuckBuck Buchanan 86 Kansas City Chiefs 1963—75
Fouts, DanDan Fouts 14 Los Angeles Chargers 1973—87
Alworth, LanceLance Alworth 19 Los Angeles Chargers 1962—70 [16]
Tomlinson, LaDainianLaDainian Tomlinson 21 Los Angeles Chargers 2001—09 [17]
Seau, JuniorJunior Seau 55 Los Angeles Chargers 1990—02 [18]
Waterfield, BobBob Waterfield 7 Los Angeles Rams 1945—52 [19]
Faulk, MarshallMarshall Faulk 28 Los Angeles Rams 1999—2006 [20]
Dickerson, EricEric Dickerson 29 Los Angeles Rams 1983—87 [19]
Olsen, MerlinMerlin Olsen 74 Los Angeles Rams 1962—76 [19]
Jones, DeaconDeacon Jones 75 Los Angeles Rams 1961—71 [19][21]
Slater, JackieJackie Slater 78 Los Angeles Rams 1976—95 [19]
Bruce, IsaacIsaac Bruce 80 Los Angeles Rams 1994—2007 [22]
Youngblood, JackJack Youngblood 85 Los Angeles Rams 1971—84 [19]
Griese, BobBob Griese 12 Miami Dolphins 1967—80
Marino, DanDan Marino 13 Miami Dolphins 1983—99
Csonka, LarryLarry Csonka 39 Miami Dolphins 1968—74, 1979
Tarkenton, FranFran Tarkenton 10 Minnesota Vikings 1961—66, 1972–78
Tingelhoff, MickMick Tingelhoff 53 Minnesota Vikings 1962—78
Marshall, JimJim Marshall 70 Minnesota Vikings 1961—79
Stringer, KoreyKorey Stringer 77 Minnesota Vikings 1995—2000
Carter, CrisCris Carter 80 Minnesota Vikings 1990—2001
Page, AlanAlan Page 88 Minnesota Vikings 1967—78
Cappelletti, GinoGino Cappelletti 20 New England Patriots 1960—70 [23]
Haynes, MikeMike Haynes 40 New England Patriots 1976—82 [24]
Nelson, SteveSteve Nelson 57 New England Patriots 1974—87 [24]
Hannah, JohnJohn Hannah 73 New England Patriots 1973—85 [24]
Armstrong, BruceBruce Armstrong 78 New England Patriots 1987—2000 [24]
Hunt, Jim LeeJim Lee Hunt 79 New England Patriots 1960—70 [24]
Dee, BobBob Dee 89 New England Patriots 1960—67 [24]
Taylor, JimJim Taylor 31 New Orleans Saints 1967
Atkins, DougDoug Atkins 81 New Orleans Saints 1967—69
Flaherty, RayRay Flaherty 1 New York Giants 1928—35
Leemans, TuffyTuffy Leemans 4 New York Giants 1936—43
Hein, MelMel Hein 7 New York Giants 1931—45
Simms, PhilPhil Simms 11 New York Giants 1979—93
Cuff, WardWard Cuff 14 New York Giants 1937—45 [25]
Tittle, Y. A.Y. A. Tittle 14 New York Giants 1961—64
Gifford, FrankFrank Gifford 16 New York Giants 1952—64
Blozis, AlAl Blozis 32 New York Giants 1942—44
Morrison, JoeJoe Morrison 40 New York Giants 1959—72
Conerly, CharlieCharlie Conerly 42 New York Giants 1948—61
Strong, KenKen Strong 50 New York Giants 1936—47
Taylor, LawrenceLawrence Taylor 56 New York Giants 1981—93
Namath, JoeJoe Namath 12 New York Jets 1965—76
Maynard, DonDon Maynard 13 New York Jets 1963—72
Martin, CurtisCurtis Martin 28 New York Jets 1998—2005 [26]
Klecko, JoeJoe Klecko 73 New York Jets 1977—87
Byrd, DennisDennis Byrd 90 New York Jets 1989—92 [27][28]
McNabb, DonovanDonovan McNabb 5 Philadelphia Eagles 1999—2009 [29]
Van Buren, SteveSteve Van Buren 15 Philadelphia Eagles 1944—51 [30]
Dawkins, BrianBrian Dawkins 20 Philadelphia Eagles 1996—2008 [31]
Brookshier, TomTom Brookshier 40 Philadelphia Eagles 1953—61 [30]
Retzlaff, PetePete Retzlaff 44 Philadelphia Eagles 1956—66 [30]
Bednarik, ChuckChuck Bednarik 60 Philadelphia Eagles 1949—62
Wistert, AlAl Wistert 70 Philadelphia Eagles 1944—51 [30]
White, ReggieReggie White 92 Philadelphia Eagles 1985—92 [30][32]
Brown, JeromeJerome Brown 99 Philadelphia Eagles 1987—91 [30][33]
Stautner, ErnieErnie Stautner 70 Pittsburgh Steelers 1950—63
Greene, JoeJoe Greene 75 Pittsburgh Steelers 1969—81 [34]
Young, SteveSteve Young 8 San Francisco 49ers 1987—99 [35]
Brodie, JohnJohn Brodie 12 San Francisco 49ers 1957—73 [36]
Montana, JoeJoe Montana 16 San Francisco 49ers 1979—92
Perry, JoeJoe Perry 34 San Francisco 49ers 1948—60
Johnson, JimmyJimmy Johnson 37 San Francisco 49ers 1961—76
McElhenny, HughHugh McElhenny 39 San Francisco 49ers 1952—60
Lott, RonnieRonnie Lott 42 San Francisco 49ers 1981—90 [37]
Krueger, CharlieCharlie Krueger 70 San Francisco 49ers 1959—73
Nomellini, LeoLeo Nomellini 73 San Francisco 49ers 1950—63
St. Clair, BobBob St. Clair 79 San Francisco 49ers 1953—63
Rice, JerryJerry Rice 80 San Francisco 49ers 1985—2000 [38]
Clark, DwightDwight Clark 87 San Francisco 49ers 1979—87
Jones, WalterWalter Jones 71 Seattle Seahawks 1997—2009
Largent, SteveSteve Largent 80 Seattle Seahawks 1976—89 [39]
Kennedy, CortezCortez Kennedy 96 Seattle Seahawks 1990—2000 [40][41]
Fans (12th man) 12 Seattle Seahawks 1984—
Brooks, DerrickDerrick Brooks 55 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1995—08 [42]
Selmon, Lee RoyLee Roy Selmon 63 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1976—84
Sapp, WarrenWarren Sapp 99 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1995—03 [43]
Moon, WarrenWarren Moon 1 Tennessee Titans 1984—93 [44][45]
Campbell, EarlEarl Campbell 34 Tennessee Titans 1978—84
Norton, JimJim Norton 43 Tennessee Titans 1960—68
Munchak, MikeMike Munchak 63 Tennessee Titans 1982—93
Bethea, ElvinElvin Bethea 65 Tennessee Titans 1968—83
Matthews, BruceBruce Matthews 74 Tennessee Titans 1983—2001
Baugh, SammySammy 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 recent bout with 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. ^ Green Bay Packers#Retired numbers
  10. ^ "Packers retire Reggie White's jersey", 1999-10-11
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ a b c d e f g Played for the Colts while the franchise was at Baltimore.
  13. ^ "Kansas City Chiefs to retire Emmitt Thomas' number" - KC Chiefs online
  14. ^ Johnson died from injuries sustained in the 1963 preseason, his rookie campaign. Stone Johnson died 50 years ago from injury in NFL game
  15. ^ "Chiefs retire Thomas' No. 58 at half" - ESPN, 2009-12-06
  16. ^ "On a banner day for Alworth, Chargers retire jersey No. 19", The San Diego Union Tribune, 2005-11-21
  17. ^ "Chargers To Retire LaDainian Tomlinson's Number"
  18. ^ ESPN, 2012-05-11
  19. ^ a b c d e f Played for the Rams while the franchise was at Los Angeles.
  20. ^ "Rams retire Faulk's No. 28 jersey at halftime", NFL news (official), 2007-12-22
  21. ^ "Rams retire Jones' No. 75 jersey", ESPN, 2009-09-27
  22. ^ "Rams retire Isaac Bruce's number", ESPN, 31 October 2010
  23. ^ "Gino Cappelletti: New England" - Taste of the NFL website
  24. ^ a b c d e f "Patriots Grogan and Bledsoe Caught in Retired Numbers Game" - Bleacher Report
  25. ^ http://prod.static.giants.clubs.nfl.com/assets/docs/pdf/giants-history.pdf
  26. ^ "Curtis Martin has jersey number retired by Jets", Daynews, 9 September 2012
  27. ^ Cimini, Rich (October 24, 2012). "The bond no man could break". ESPNNewYork.com. Retrieved October 24, 2012. 
  28. ^ Lange, Randy (October 28, 2012). "Jets Come Up Empty in 30-9 Loss to Dolphins". NewYorkJets.com. Retrieved October 29, 2012. 
  29. ^ "Donovan McNabb cheered in Philly"
  30. ^ a b c d e f Daily Philadelphian.com, 2011-08-14
  31. ^ Dawkins Speaks, Number Retired
  32. ^ "Eagles honor Reggie White, retire his jersey", ESPN, 2005-12-05
  33. ^ "Eagles make sure no one wears 99 again" - The Morning Call, 1992-09-07
  34. ^ http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/steelers/2014/11/02/Jersey-retirement-brings-out-the-emotions-in-Mean-Joe-Greene/stories/201411020265
  35. ^ "49ers to retire Young's #8", TSN website, 2008-09-25
  36. ^ 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
  37. ^ "49ers to retire Lott's jersey" - SF Gate.com, 2003-11-06
  38. ^ "49ers retire Jerry Rice's number at half" - ESPN, 2010-09-21
  39. ^ 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
  40. ^ "Seahawks retire Cortez Kennedy's No. 96", King5.com, 14 October 2012
  41. ^ "Hawks to retire Cortez Kennedy’s jersey", The News Tribune, 11 October 2012
  42. ^ Brooks' #55 To Be Retired
  43. ^ "Bucs to retire Warren Sapp's No. 99", 2013-05-02
  44. ^ "Titans Retire Warren Moon's No. 1", 2010-10-06
  45. ^ Retired jersey numbers on Titans website