Should Professional Sports Teams Un-Retire Numbers for Incoming Players?

Brandon Fowlis, staff writer

Following the 2020 NFL Draft, incoming players have a lot to do to prepare for their professional career, including picking their jersey numbers if they aren’t assigned them from the franchise. 

Tua Tagovailoa, the Miami Dolphins #5 overall pick has yet to pick his number. Arguably the most intriguing prospect of the draft class, Tagovailoa was expected to be the first selection before a long list of injuries finally ended his season early.  The former Alabama quarterback wore 11 in high school before switching to 13 in college. 11 on Miami is owned by receiver DeVante Parker and 13 is retired to honor NFL legend Dan Marino. Several numbers that Tagovailoa would’ve picked have been taken by other players on the roster leaving him with few options. Tagovailoa has publicly said he’s fine wearing something besides 13, “For me, I’m not too worried about what number I have. I understand No. 13 is retired and it should be. Dan Marino is the GOAT, he’s like the mayor out there” he told reporters after being selected by the team.

Some people think that Marino should say he is fine with the Dolphins un-retiring his number in order for Tagovailoa to wear it. The idea of this is just not right. The Dolphins should not un-retire their franchise’s best player of all time in order to give it to a rookie quarterback. Marino IS the Miami Dolphins.  Granted, he never won a Super Bowl, but this franchise is the only one to ever have a Perfect Season, so that tells you something about the greatness that was Marino. Which player retired with over 40 NFL passing records, including most passing yards in a season, most passing yards in a career, most passing attempts in a career, most touchdown passes in a career, and most touchdown passes in a season – all while playing in an era when receivers could be mugged and there were nowhere near as many rules protecting quarterbacks? Dan Marino. Although the Dolphins have drafted their next franchise quarterback that they’ve been projected to take for years, he should pick a different number. At the end of the day regardless of what Marino decides the Dolphins should keep 13 retired and have Tagovailoa select another number.