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Passing By Uniform Number

Namath BearMost people know about quarterbacks and the number 12. Even if you didn’t know where it started — Al Dorow of the New York Titans made the Pro Bowl in ’61 wearing number 12, while Charley Johnson of the St. Louis Cardinals was the first #12 to throw for 3,000 yards, doing so in 1963 and 1964 — you can probably recite most of the history from there. John Brodie, who entered the NFL in 1957, was the first great #12, while Joe Namath took the number to iconic status in the late ’60s. It was popularized by Roger Staubach (who also wore 12 at Navy in the early ’60s), Bob Griese, Terry Bradshaw, and Ken Stabler in the ’70s.1 That means the Super Bowl winning quarterback wore #12 for nine straight years, beginning with Super Bowl VI. Doug Williams even wore it in Tampa Bay, although punter Steve Cox forced Williams to don #17 when in Washington.

Lynn Dickey wore it for the Packers in the early ’80s, while Randall Cunningham and Jim Kelly repped #12 later in the decade. Stan Humphries made it to the Super Bowl wearing #12 with the Chargers, while Erik Kramer set the still-standing franchise records for passing yards and passing touchdowns in a season while wearing #12 for the Bears in 1995. The only time a Ravens quarterback threw for 4,000 yards or 30 touchdowns was when Vinny Testaverde wore #12 in 1996. Chris Chandler took the Falcons to the Super Bowl in 1998 wearing #12, while Rich Gannon became the second great Raiders quarterback to wear twelve a year later.

And since then, three guys you might have heard of have worn #12: Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and Andrew Luck.

Since 1950, players wearing #12 have thrown for 675,044 yards. No other number has yet to hit the 500,000-yard mark. But that brings us to today’s trivia: Which number has produced the second most passing yards since 1950? [click to continue…]

  1. And, sadly, not popularized by Greg Cook. []

The table below lists every retired number for each of the 32 franchises. It also lists each player’s career AV (starting in 1950), position(s), and years with the team. Each column is sortable, and you can use the search box to search by team (or uniform number, or position, or anything else); you can also change how many rows are shown by clicking on the dropdown box on the left.

FranchisePlayerNumberPosAVFirst YrLast Yr
Arizona CardinalsJ.V. Cain88TE-WR2119741977
Arizona CardinalsMarshall Goldberg99B019391948
Arizona CardinalsStan Mauldin77T019461948
Arizona CardinalsPat Tillman40DB1619982001
Arizona CardinalsLarry Wilson8DB9619601972
Atlanta FalconsWilliam Andrews31RB6819791986
Atlanta FalconsSteve Bartkowski10QB7019751985
Atlanta FalconsTommy Nobis60LB6319661976
Atlanta FalconsJeff Van Note57C-G-LB7719691986
Baltimore RavensNone
Buffalo BillsJim Kelly12QB10319861996
Carolina PanthersSam Mills51LB10019951997
Chicago BearsDick Butkus51LB9719651973
Chicago BearsWillie Galimore28HB3419571963
Chicago BearsBill George61LB-G-MG-DT13219521965
Chicago BearsRed Grange77HB-BB-DB-TB019251934
Chicago BearsGeorge Halas7E019201928
Chicago BearsBill Hewitt56E-DE019321936
Chicago BearsSid Luckman42QB-HB-DB119391950
Chicago BearsGeorge McAfee5HB-DB819401950
Chicago BearsBronko Nagurski3FB-LB-T019301943
Chicago BearsWalter Payton34RB12819751987
Chicago BearsBrian Piccolo41RB719661969
Chicago BearsGale Sayers40RB5419651971
Chicago BearsBulldog Turner66C-T-LB-G2019401952
Cincinnati BengalsBob Johnson54C5719681979
Cleveland BrownsJim Brown32FB10619571965
Cleveland BrownsDon Fleming46DB1919601962
Cleveland BrownsOtto Graham14QB-DB8419461955
Cleveland BrownsLou Groza76T-C-DT-K10019461967
Cleveland BrownsErnie Davis45RB019621962
Dallas CowboysNone
Denver BroncosJohn Elway7QB13819831998
Denver BroncosFloyd Little44RB7119671975
Detroit LionsLem Barney20DB11119671977
Detroit LionsDutch Clark7TB-DB019311938
Detroit LionsChuck Hughes85WR719701971
Detroit LionsBobby Layne22QB10719501958
Detroit LionsBarry Sanders20RB12219891998
Detroit LionsJoe Schmidt56LB11919531965
Detroit LionsBilly Sims20RB5819801984
Detroit LionsDoak Walker37HB-DB5819501955
Green Bay PackersTony Canadeo3HB-TB-FB-DB1819411952
Green Bay PackersDon Hutson14E-DB-DE019351945
Green Bay PackersRay Nitschke66LB10219581972
Green Bay PackersBart Starr15QB10019561971
Green Bay PackersReggie White92DE-DT16319931998
Houston TexansNone
Indianapolis ColtsRaymond Berry82E10219551967
Indianapolis ColtsArt Donovan70DT-T8819531961
Indianapolis ColtsPeyton Manning18QB16519982011
Indianapolis ColtsGino Marchetti89DE-T-DT12119531966
Indianapolis ColtsLenny Moore24HB-FL9619561967
Indianapolis ColtsJim Parker77T-G10219571967
Indianapolis ColtsJohnny Unitas19QB14119561972
Indianapolis ColtsBuddy Young22HB-FB-DB3019531955
Jacksonville JaguarsNone
Kansas City ChiefsBobby Bell78LB-DE10519631974
Kansas City ChiefsBuck Buchanan86DT10119631975
Kansas City ChiefsLen Dawson16QB10019621975
Kansas City ChiefsAbner Haynes28HB3619601964
Kansas City ChiefsMack Lee Hill36FB-HB1319641965
Kansas City ChiefsWillie Lanier63LB9919671977
Kansas City ChiefsJan Stenerud3K819671979
Kansas City ChiefsDerrick Thomas58LB10619891999
Kansas City ChiefsEmmitt Thomas18DB7819661978
Kansas City ChiefsStone Johnson33HB-KR019631963
Miami DolphinsLarry Csonka39RB7219681979
Miami DolphinsBob Griese12QB10519671980
Miami DolphinsDan Marino13QB14619831999
Minnesota VikingsCris Carter80WR9819902001
Minnesota VikingsJim Marshall70DE10719611979
Minnesota VikingsAlan Page88DT15719671978
Minnesota VikingsKorey Stringer77T4519952000
Minnesota VikingsFran Tarkenton10QB13919611978
Minnesota VikingsMick Tingelhoff53C10219621978
New England PatriotsBruce Armstrong78T-G8719872000
New England PatriotsGino Cappelletti20FL-SE-DB-WR-K4119601970
New England PatriotsBob Dee89DE-DT4719601967
New England PatriotsJohn Hannah73G10619731985
New England PatriotsMike Haynes40DB10919761982
New England PatriotsJim Hunt79DT-DE4719601970
New England PatriotsSteve Nelson57LB7019741987
New Orleans SaintsDoug Atkins81DE12019671969
New Orleans SaintsJim Taylor31FB7019671967
New York GiantsAl Blozis32T019421944
New York GiantsCharlie Conerly42QB7619481961
New York GiantsRay Flaherty1E-DE019281935
New York GiantsFrank Gifford16HB-FL-DB-WR8819521964
New York GiantsMel Hein7C-LB019311945
New York GiantsTuffy Leemans4FB-TB-DB-QB019361943
New York GiantsJoe Morrison40HB-FL-FB4219591972
New York GiantsPhil Simms11QB9119791993
New York GiantsKen Strong50FB-TB-HB-WB-DB-K019331947
New York GiantsLawrence Taylor56LB13919811993
New York GiantsY.A. Tittle14QB11219611964
New York JetsDennis Byrd90DT-DE1919891992
New York JetsJoe Klecko73DT-NT-DE7619771987
New York JetsCurtis Martin28RB10019982005
New York JetsDon Maynard13E-FL-HB7019601972
New York JetsJoe Namath12QB9019651976
Oakland RaidersNone
Philadelphia EaglesChuck Bednarik60LB-C13319491962
Philadelphia EaglesTom Brookshier40DB5619531961
Philadelphia EaglesJerome Brown99DT4819871991
Philadelphia EaglesBrian Dawkins20DB10119962008
Philadelphia EaglesPete Retzlaff44E-HB-TE7119561966
Philadelphia EaglesSteve Van Buren15HB1219441951
Philadelphia EaglesReggie White92DE-DT16319851992
Philadelphia EaglesAl Wistert70T-G-DT2419431951
Pittsburgh SteelersErnie Stautner70DT-DE-G11219501963
San Diego ChargersLance Alworth19FL-WR7819621970
San Diego ChargersDan Fouts14QB12219731987
San Diego ChargersJunior Seau55LB12519902002
San Francisco 49ersJohn Brodie12QB8819571973
San Francisco 49ersDwight Clark87WR6119791987
San Francisco 49ersJimmy Johnson37DB-HB10819611976
San Francisco 49ersCharlie Krueger70DT-DE7919591973
San Francisco 49ersRonnie Lott42DB11719811990
San Francisco 49ersHugh McElhenny39HB8819521960
San Francisco 49ersJoe Montana16QB12319791992
San Francisco 49ersLeo Nomellini73DT-T11619501963
San Francisco 49ersJoe Perry34FB7519481963
San Francisco 49ersJerry Rice80WR16019852000
San Francisco 49ersBob St. Clair79T8019531963
San Francisco 49ersSteve Young8QB13519871999
Seattle SeahawksFans (12th man)12
Seattle SeahawksWalter Jones71T9619972008
Seattle SeahawksCortez Kennedy96DT9719902000
Seattle SeahawksSteve Largent80WR10319761989
St. Louis RamsIsaac Bruce80WR10219942007
St. Louis RamsEric Dickerson29RB9119831987
St. Louis RamsMarshall Faulk28RB13319992005
St. Louis RamsDeacon Jones75DE11219611971
St. Louis RamsMerlin Olsen74DT13919621976
St. Louis RamsJackie Slater78T-G9319761995
St. Louis RamsBob Waterfield7QB3519451952
St. Louis RamsJack Youngblood85DE12219711984
Tampa Bay BuccaneersLee Roy Selmon63DE-DT8119761984
Tennessee TitansElvin Bethea65DE8919681983
Tennessee TitansEarl Campbell34RB6819781984
Tennessee TitansBruce Matthews74G-C-T12119832001
Tennessee TitansWarren Moon1QB11919841993
Tennessee TitansMike Munchak63G8419821993
Tennessee TitansJim Norton43DB-P4419601968
Washington RedskinsSammy Baugh33QB-TB1819371952

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