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The Washington Football Team announced Thursday that it will retire late safety Sean Taylor’s No. 21 jersey prior to Sunday’s home game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
The ceremony will be part of alumni homecoming weekend, which will see Washington host nearly 100 former players at FedExField.
Taylor was a two-time Pro Bowler in four seasons with Washington and a star on the rise when he tragically died at the age of 24 in 2007 after he was shot during an invasion of his home.
Washington Football Team President Jason Wright said:
“I came into the NFL the same year as Sean Taylor and immediately his athletic ability, resilience, grit, and relentless work ethic set him apart. I and many others looked to him as a role model. The fact that he was tragically taken so early hurt our player community, but also our fans, coaches, and staff. We will continue to remember him and hold him up as an example of professionalism and excellence, and we will all strive to mirror his excellence in our own ways.”
The WFT added that it will officially rename the road leading to FedExField as Sean Taylor Road prior to Sunday’s game. The first 10,000 fans to enter the stadium also will receive a commemorative Sean Taylor rally towel.
After a standout collegiate career at Miami, Taylor had all the makings of a superstar player and a potential Hall of Famer.
He made an instant impact after Washington selected him fifth overall in the 2004 NFL draft, and he was named to the Pro Bowl for the first time in 2006 after he recorded 114 tackles, seven passes defended, three forced fumbles and one interception.
Taylor was posthumously chosen for the Pro Bowl in 2007 as well after reeling in five interceptions in only nine games that season before his death.
Taylor will join an exclusive club Sunday, becoming only the third player in franchise history to have their number officially retired. The others are quarterback Sammy Baugh and wide receiver Bobby Mitchell.