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Openthread: Should the Baltimore Ravens officially retire jersey numbers?

What are your thoughts regarding number retirements?

Baltimore Colts legendary QB Johnny Unitas

Currently, the Baltimore Ravens jersey options range from 1-99. You may have your arguments against the statement, and I don’t blame you, but it’s true. The team has never retired a jersey number.

Unofficially, Johnny Unitas’ #19 is off limits. Only Scott Mitchell has worn the number, which was after he received permission from his childhood idol, back in 1999 for a single season. It’s fair to assume 3, 5, 20, 52 and 75 are off limits, too. At least for now.

This got me thinking, should the Ravens officially retire jersey numbers?

Arguments for jersey number retirement

Outside of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the retirement of a players’ number is the ultimate recognition. To forever eliminate their number from franchise selection signals the players’ impact to the franchise and game of football.

For example, the Broncos retired John Elway’s #7. He is a Colorado legend. Hell, he’s an NFL legend. He brought championship football to Denver and played for 16 seasons with the franchise. It’s fair to say he earned it.

Would you also like to see this recognition for Ray Lewis and Ed Reed? What about Jonathan Ogden? Should Baltimore officially retire Unitas’ number, too? There’s a statue of him out front of the stadium for a reason, after all.

Arguments against jersey number retirement

Is it necessary to forever retire a number to honor a player? If they’re really so incredible, they’ve already earned national recognition from NFL fans, their franchise and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Moreover, if the game continues on for centuries, you will run out of available numbers.

Right now, NFL wide receivers can select the between 10-19, and 80-89. Only 20 numbers to choose from, and the 10’s are shared with quarterbacks and special teams players. Oh, and the 80’s are shared with tight ends, too.

Say, for instance, the Minnesota Vikings have an incredible streak of wide receiving talent over the next 80 years. They’ve already retired 10, 80 and 88. Imagine they also retire Randy Moss’ 84, too. This leaves the Vikings with only 16 numbers before the next wave of retired numbers come into play. Soon enough, they’ll be out of wide receiving numbers. Then what? They slowly take the numbers back from retirement? This defeats the purpose of jersey retirement.

What do you think, Baltimore Beatdown? Should the Ravens retire jersey numbers? Should any team?


Should the Ravens retire jersey numbers?

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  • 65%
    (229 votes)
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    (122 votes)
351 votes total Vote Now