Truth & Rumors > NFL

Will more teams choose to not retire jersey numbers?

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05:08 AM ET 05.26 | Ditka was and still is a legend in Chicago, from his days as a tight end to the historic years in the '80s he spent as head coach. The 1985 Bears defense is still regarded as one of the best to have ever been formed and it resulted in Chicago's last Super Bowl title. From his iconic sweater to the SNL parodies of him in the '90s, Ditka transcended being a head coach or a figure and became a mythical entity in the way Greek gods were regarded. But while Ditka is getting his number retired, other Bears who have made their name with the franchise after him won't see their numbers retired. Brian Urlacher is perhaps the best Bears player since the 1985 Super Bowl team but he won't see his No. 54 retired by the Bears. Guys like Dan Hampton, Mike Singletary and Richard Dent -- all of whom actually played on the 1985 defense -- won't see their numbers retired by Chicago either. This is an inevitability with all franchises in the NFL, as there will come a day where you just start running out of numbers and can't retire any more. Not being able to retire numbers doesn't mean they can't still be hung up though, it just means we'll see legendary numbers still appearing on gameday.

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Chicago Bears, AP Photo/Scott Boehm Chicago Bears, AP Photo/Scott Boehm
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Comment #2 has been removed
May 26, 2013  02:34 PM ET
QUOTE(#2):

It's gotten to the point where teams retires numbers of players who were good, not great

Pretty much.

Skins only have 1. Cowboys zero.

Comment #4 has been removed
May 26, 2013  03:51 PM ET
QUOTE(#4):

Who's the one former Redskin that got his # retired, is it Gus Frerotte for trying to take out a concrete wall?

No, according to Google it was #33 belonging to Sammy Baugh.

May 27, 2013  07:28 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

Pretty much. Skins only have 1. Cowboys zero.

The Dallas Cowboys don't officially retire numbers.

However, there are some numbers that they simply don't issue. For example, Bob Lilly is the only player in Cowboy history to wear #74. And no Cowboys has worn #12 since Roger Staubach retired in 1979.

 
May 28, 2013  12:47 PM ET
QUOTE(#6):

The Dallas Cowboys don't officially retire numbers.However, there are some numbers that they simply don't issue. For example, Bob Lilly is the only player in Cowboy history to wear #74. And no Cowboys has worn #12 since Roger Staubach retired in 1979.

That might be the direction a lot of teams may go with instead of retiring numbers. With free agency, Salary cap, injuries, etc there is not a good chance to see a player stick with a team there entire career. Maybe a franchise QB (Manning (Eli and Payton), Brady, etc.

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