Multiple NFL Teams Have Gone Decades Without Retiring a Jersey Number

I saw the other day that the Lions are giving the #9 to Jameson Williams. I thought that maybe they’d retire that jersey # because Matt Stafford is probably the greatest QB that franchise has ever had. But then I realized that they didn’t even retire Calvin Johnson’s jersey #. So then I thought, who was the last jersey they retired? And is it the longest gap in jersey retirements in the NFL?

So let’s explore.

·Lions last jersey # retired- Barry Sanders (20) career ended 1998, jersey retired in 2004.

·Not to be out done…the Bengals have 1 jersey retired…its Bob Johnson (54) who played from 1968-1979. And his jersey was retired immediately after his playing days.

·The Browns haven’t retired a jersey since the 60’s…Lou Groza (76) and Jim Brown (32).

·Walter Payton (34) and Mike Ditka (89) were the last jerseys to be retired for the Bears. Payton in 1994…Ditka not until 2013 which is odd.

·Saints haven’t retired one since Doug Atkins in 1969. But they’ll retire the #9 any minute now. Drew Brees in case you needed the refresh.

·Washington just retired the # for Bobby Mitchell a year or so ago. He played for the team in the 60’s though…he was also their first black player, which is why the retired his number.

Find the full list of retired jersey #'s here.

This 21 December 1997 file photo show Detroit Lion

Photo: Getty Images

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content