Should a Redskins player ever wear No. 21 again?

May 14, 2013

Sean Taylor, wearing No. 21, in 2006. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

Hogs Haven posted an item yesterday asking whether any Redskins player, following safety Sean Taylor’s death, should ever wear his number again.

There’s a decent discussion to be had, starting with what came up last week when we discussed which Redskins belong on the franchise’s fictional Mount Rushmore. When franchise history is as long as successful as this one’s is, there eventually will come a point when the team can’t take any more numbers out of circulation. When there are 26 Hall of Famers (although not all of them are players), how high do you raise the bar for retiring a number, officially or otherwise?

There’s a flipside. Taylor was beloved (here are five-years-after retrospectives from Cindy Boren and Clinton Yates) and killed while in his playing prime. There’s no telling what he would have become.

And that leaves some uncertainty. Enough that in Hogs Haven’s poll, as of 12:30, 652 votes had been split four ways — 37% (245 voters) in favor of officially retiring the number, 29% (193) in support of keeping it unofficially retired, and 16 percent each (108 and 106) in favor of only allowing it to be worn with permission of the Taylor family, or letting it recirculate, now that it’s been unworn for five years.

In the mailbag, someone asked Mike Jones a similar question about Jawan Jamison wearing Chris Cooley’s No. 47. On the original Hogs Haven post, it points out that Taylor wore No. 36 for part of his career.

What are your thoughts?

More Redskins and NFL from The Post:

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Redskins sign Rambo, Jenkins; five rookie draftees still unsigned

Monday mailbag: On Cooley and Huff’s future, Super Bowl chances, Fletcher’s backup, etc.

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The Early Lead: Tebow to the Jets wasn’t in anybody’s best interest

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Mark Maske · May 14, 2013