On Thursday morning, the Washington Football Team announced that no future player will ever be allowed to wear the No. 21 jersey for the club again. That’s because the organization will retire the former number of Pro Bowl safety Sean Taylor.
The Washington Football Team announced Thursday that it has planned a special tribute for Taylor to take place during this weekend’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs. During a pre-game ceremony, the organization will welcome the late player’s family onto the field and retire his number.
Taylor will become just the third player team’s 89-year history to have a jersey officially retired.
“I came into the NFL the same year as Sean Taylor and immediately his athletic ability, resilience, grit, and relentless work ethic set him apart. I and many others looked to him as a role model,” WFT president Jason Wright said in a statement. “The fact that he was tragically taken so early hurt our player community, but also our fans, coaches, and staff. We will continue to remember him and hold him up as an example of professionalism and excellence, and we will all strive to mirror his excellence in our own ways.”
There will never be another 21 💛
On Sunday, we will officially retire Sean Taylor's number
— Washington Football Team (@WashingtonNFL) October 14, 2021
A jersey retirement is a fitting tribute for one of the most exciting and impactful football players to ever come through Washington.
Taylor played for the organization for all four seasons of his NFL career after he was selected with the fifth overall pick in the 2004 Draft. During his rookie year, he burst onto the scene with 76 tackles, two forced fumbles and four interceptions, helping to lead Washington to its first playoff victory in six seasons.
Two seasons later, Taylor made the Pro Bowl in 2006, establishing himself as one of the top defenders in the NFL. Unfortunately just a year later, tragedy stuck during the middle of the 2007 campaign.
On Nov. 27, 2007, Taylor was shot during a robbery attempt on his Florida home. He died the following day.
The NFL honored Taylor later that year, posthumously naming him a Pro Bowler and a 2nd team All-Pro selection for the 2007 season. The following year, Washington announced his induction as the 43rd member to the Washington Ring of Fame.
On Sunday, Taylor will receive yet another well-deserved honor. However, one of the best ways that the Washington Football Team can celebrate his legacy will be to come up with a win over the Chiefs in front of a home crowd.