Landon Collins will wear No. 20 for the Washington Redskins after many speculated that Collins would wear Sean Taylor’s No. 21.
The news comes after the Redskins posted a picture to their Twitter account of Collins wearing No. 20.
Collins, a long time admirer of Taylor before he was shot and killed in his own home said he would be “honored” to wear No. 21.
Collins signed a six-year, $84 million deal with the Redskins during free agency after the Giants neglected to give him the franchise tag.
No player has worn No. 21 since Sean last took the field in November 2007 after sustaining an injury in his last NFL game.
Redskins owner Dan Snyder presented Collins with a signed Taylor jersey the night after the safety signed in Washington. Collins said he broke down after being given the gift.
“I couldn’t say nothing, I couldn’t touch the box,” he told The Team 980 radio. “My son was in my lap, he’s just opening the box, and he pulled out the jersey and I broke down. It was breathtaking. I think I was sitting there for 20-30 minutes. I couldn’t eat, just staring at the jersey there in the box. It was an honor. I thank Mr. Snyder for that. He’s going to get the same passionate kid that he had in Sean Taylor in me, I promise you that.”
Although the Redskins and pro football really aren’t into retiring jersey numbers like they are in basketball or baseball do at their rate the Redskins have had internal talks into retiring Taylor’s No. 21 because of what his death meant to the DMV. Most players who’ve worn No. 21 before coming to D.C. are never reluctant to give up the number because of the emotional connection it has to the city.
Some former Redskins players who played with Taylor like former longtime Redskins running back Clinton Portis, who was also very close with Sean during his days in D.C. is extremely against letting Collins wear No. 21.
“That’s the one thing fans have to hold on to,” Portis said while on 106.7 The Fan’s Grant and Danny show. “I don’t think he’s going to be Sean Taylor. There is no next Sean.”
“21, that’s sacred,” he told The Athletic. “Why even play with people? Why even spark people’s memories? Retire that jersey.”
During a recent poll on NBC Sports Washington’s Redskins 100 that more than 2,000 fans participated in, 52 percent said they wouldn’t want to see Collins wear the uniform, while 48 percent approved.
The fact of the matter is that it shows how much Taylor means to the Redskins community. 21 isn’t just a number for the Redskins community. In D.C. it means much more.