Exactly why haven't the Redskins retired Sonny Jurgensen's number? It's time

JP Finlay
NBC Sports Washington

For at least 50 years the Redskins only retired one player's number: Sammy Baugh. With the news last week that the organization would now retire Bobby Mitchell's number, the list shouldn't stop there.

It's time for the Redskins to retire Sonny Jurgensen's No. 9.

The most prolific passer in the organization's 80-year history, Jurgensen made the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1983 and for many older Redskins fans, Jurgensen is the best player they ever saw. 

One of the best Jurgensen stories came from a biography on Baltimore Colts legend Johnny Unitas. In the book, Unitas talked about his friendship and rivalry with Jurgensen; two extremely talented QBs on wildly different rosters. The Colts of that era were great, littered with stars all over the roster and champion contenders every year. The Redskins of that era were bad to mediocre, and for many seasons, Jurgensen's arm was the only thing keeping Washington in games. 

In the book, Unitas talked about the restaurant he owned in Baltimore called The Golden Arm. The way Unitas told it, every time Jurgensen would walk in the restaurant he would thank the owner for naming the restaurant after him.

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If that's not swag, then who knows what is. 

His stats are absurd too. He made five Pro Bowls and twice was named All-Pro. Five times Jurgensen led the NFL in passing yards, and in 1967 he threw for more than 3,700 yards in a 14-game season. To put that in perspective, Jurgensen's 1967 numbers would have ranked 15th in the NFL last season. He would have ranked just ahead of Kirk Cousins and Kyler Murray and just behind Baker Mayfield and Deshaun Watson in two fewer games and in an era where offensive players got mauled on every snap. 

If that wasn't enough, Jurgensen connects with younger Redskins fans too for his brilliant work on the team's radio broadcasts for more than 30 years. Jurgensen was blunt and funny, disgusted with bad play and loved watching the good teams. 

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If that wasn't enough, Sonny has always been cool. He had his own cigar line for goodness sake. 

While it's great the Redskins decided to finally retire Bobby Mitchell's No. 49, it's also sad it took so long. Mitchell was an electric talent and made the Hall of Fame in 1983. He also integrated the Redskins roster, driving forth the organization into the modern era with class and pride. 

It's a shame Mitchell won't get to see his jersey retired, surrounded by his friends and family and with fans looking on and cheering. 

Jurgensen will turn 86 in August and has reduced his role with the team's radio broadcast in the last few years. Now is the time to retire his jersey and let him enjoy that deserved moment. 

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Exactly why haven't the Redskins retired Sonny Jurgensen's number? It's time originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

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