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Washington safety Landon Collins will not share Sean Taylor’s number


As a pair of big-hitting safeties for the Washington Redskins, Sean Taylor and Landon Collins had a lot more in common with one another beyond both wearing the number 21. After Washington signed the former New York Giant to a six-year contract with $45 million of a possible $84 million guaranteed, there was some discussion about what number the safety would wear for his new team.

After four years wearing 21 for the Giants, Collins will change his number to 20. Some believed that if there were to be any player to wear Sean Taylor’s jersey number again, it would be Collins, who has called the late player one of his role models, and said Taylor was a reason that he chose to wear 21. However, he put those ideas to rest after receiving a jersey autographed by Taylor from team owner Dan Snyder.

At his introductory press conference, Collins recalled the emotional scene. “When [Snyder] told me it was a game-worn jersey signed by him in the box, [I]¬†instantly broke down,” Collins said.

Former Washington running back, and close friend to Taylor, Clinton Portis agrees with the decision. “There is no next Sean…¬†21, that‚Äôs sacred,” Portis told The Athletic.¬†“Why even play with people? Why even spark people‚Äôs memories? Retire that jersey.”

Drafted by Washington with the fifth overall pick in the 2004 draft, Taylor played four seasons with the franchise before his death in 2007. On November 26 Taylor was shot by intruders at his Miami area home and died the next day from blood loss.¬†The first Redskins game after Taylor’s death was on December 2, 2007, which was against the Buffalo Bills and held at FedEx Field. The game began with the Redskins defense playing with 10 men on the field instead of the usual 11.

Collins gives Washington a dangerous weapon in their secondary, in four seasons with the Giants, Collins had 428 combined tackles, 321 solo tackles, 22 tackles for a loss, 10 QB hits, 8 interceptions, 32 pass deflections, 3 forced fumbles and 3 fumble recoveries.