Joe Theismann warned Dwayne Haskins of distractions associated with wearing No. 7

Mike DePrisco
·2 min read

Theismann warned Haskins of the challenges that came with No. 7 originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Before his first season in the NFL, first-round quarterback Dwayne Haskins aimed to do something no Washington quarterback had done in nearly 35 years: Wear No. 7. 

The number belonged to franchise legend Joe Theismann, and while No. 7 wasn't officially retired, it was a part of a group of "protected" numbers not meant to be worn again even though they hadn't been given the official retirement designation. 

Still, Haskins wanted to wear the number he had in college and owner Dan Snyder left it up to Theismann to decide.

The former MVP and Super Bowl champion didn't have a problem with Haskins wearing his number, but he did offer the young quarterback some advice. 

"I reached out to him in regards to the jersey because I read that he wanted to wear No. 7," The Team 980's Kevin Sheehan. "I said, 'I don't have a problem with it, it's not mine to say you can or cannot wear it. But think about creating your own legacy, your own number.'

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"He said, 'I sat down with my parents, my family, and I'd like to wear No. 7,'" Theismann said. "I said 'I'm fine with it, but the fact of the matter is you're going to have a lot of challenges playing quarterback in the NFL, the last thing you're going to want to concern yourself with is a number. I don't want to be any kind of a distraction for you.' So to me it was like, let him wear the number, let him do what he needs to do and now the number maybe goes back into protection, who knows."

Haskins ultimately wore the jersey number and then went on to have short tenure in Washington marred by poor performances on the field and questionable decisions off of it, which culminated in his release Monday afternoon. 

No. 7 will now go back into the pool of protected jersey numbers not meant to be worn again by another Washington player. Perhaps Haskins' story will dissuade future rookies from gunning for protected numbers, but it's hard to point to No. 7 as one of the chief reasons why Haskins' time in DC was so short-lived. 

In two years with Washington, Haskins made 13 starts, won three of them, and completed 60% of his passes for 2,804 yards, 12 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.