Miami Dolphins should retire number 99

Taylor warms up before a game - Image by Brian Miller
Taylor warms up before a game - Image by Brian Miller /

The Miami Dolphins have only retired three numbers in their franchise history. 12, 39, and 13 who of course belonged to Bob Griese, Larry Csonka, and Dan Marino. Should Jason Taylor join the list?

Miami has a history of elevating their outstanding players by commemorating them on the teams “Walk of Fame” outside the stadium as well as in the Dolphins “Ring of Honor” which adorns the inner stadium ring.

It’s hard to imagine any player in Dolphins history that truly deserves a retired jersey. Dan Marino of course was not a question of “if” but only when after he hung up his cleats. Griese and Csonka were the faces and names of a 1970’s franchise that went to three consecutive Super Bowls and an undefeated season.

The 1972 season is on the “Ring of Honor” and many of the players are recognized in various areas of the stadium. The Walk of Fame members are:

2014 – Ed Newman, Tony Nathan, Sam Madison, and Jeff Cross

2013 – Kim Bokamper, O.J. McDuffie, Mercury Morris, and Keith Sims;

2012 Class – Tim Bowens, AJ Duhe, Manny Fernandez, Nat Moore, Earl Morrall, and Don Strock

2011   Joe Robbie, Don Shula, Nick Buoniconti, Larry Csonka, Bob Griese, Jim Langer, Larry Little, Dan Marino, Dwight Stephenson, and Paul Warfield.

Should the number 72 be retired?

It’s a strong argument. 72 represents the entire 1972 Miami Dolphins roster. Obviously the Dolphins can’t individually honor every member and the 72 team is on the Ring of Honor but a retired number means a lot more.

Throughout Dolphins history, 16 players have worn number 72. It’s currently being worn by DE Arthur Miley. Of the 16 who have worn it during a game, offensive lineman Vernon Carey stands out as the best of those 16. No one would relate 72 to Carey.

It’s an option for the Dolphins to consider but it’s not one that would drum up as much conversation as number 99.

There is no question that Jason Taylor owns the 99 jersey number. Only six players in history of adorned the double nine jersey and none come close to Taylor. Rick Graf, Jimmy Hines, Micah Johnson, Chuck Klingbeil, and George Little?

Miami hasn’t retired a jersey number since Marino and Taylor in some way is more representative to a whole generation of fans more than Marino. Believe it or not there are a lot of Dolphins fans who never saw Marino play or Don Shula, Larry Csonka, and Bob Griese but all of us, young and old saw Jason Taylor play.

That’s not to say Taylor is better than any of those other players. It is saying that for many fans, he is the face to the franchise for them and not a historical figure. In that regard, he should be rewarded with the knowledge that no one will use that number again. In fact, the number hasn’t been used since he retired and has only been worn by him since 1997 except for one season in 2010 when Micah Johnson was given the number for one game.

There is little debate to whether or not Taylor’s jersey should be retired but if you think there is a reason let us know in the comments.

While it hasn’t been said, there has to be strong internal discussions about Taylor and the 99 jersey. Stephen Ross has made it a point to honor players both new and old and Taylor is the only player that played during his time as an owner that is not only heading to the Hall of Fame but is a staple in the community.

While it might not be this year (although it could) look for the Dolphins to retire the number 99 sooner rather than later. Because they should.