Dwayne Haskins Jr. figures to have one of the Redskins' best-selling jerseys this year, but first, the rookie quarterback must decide what number he'll wear.
Shortly after Haskins was selected No. 15 overall in the first round of the NFL draft Thursday, he did an interview with NFL Network. "NFL Total Access" host Scott Hansen concluded the segment by informing Haskins that a look at the Redskins' roster revealed No. 7 — the digit Haskins wore at his high school and Ohio State — was available.
"I gotta talk to Mr. Theismann first before I get that number," Haskins replied, demonstrating a knowledge of Redskins history. "We'll see."
While No. 7 isn't officially retired by the team, Joe Theismann, who played 12 seasons in Washington and led the Redskins to their first Super Bowl title in 1983, is the only player to have worn it. How would Theismann feel about Haskins becoming the second?
"I'm anxious to sit down and talk to Dwayne about that," Theismann said Monday on NBC Sports Washington's "Redskins Talk" podcast. "I'm not opposed to it. I'm not saying yes yet, but I really want to sit down and talk to the young man and get a chance to meet him. I know he's reached out and said he wants to ask me, so as early as I can get back into town and be able to set up an opportunity when he gets into town ... (I'll) sit down and talk to him about it."
While Haskins may be the most prominent player who wore No. 7 in college to join the Redskins, he's by no means the first since Theismann retired in 1985. Quarterback Todd Husak, a sixth-round pick of the Redskins in 2000, wore No. 7 at Stanford before switching to No. 8 for his one season as a backup in Washington. Two years later, Danny Wuerffel switched from No. 17 to the No. 7 he wore at Florida between the morning and afternoon sessions of a Redskins minicamp in March.
"I sort of believe you shouldn't retire numbers," said then-Redskins coach Steve Spurrier, who didn't object to Wuerffel wearing No. 7. "You should retire jerseys, maybe. I would hope maybe the former players would like to see their numbers out there."
When Shane Matthews signed a one-year deal with the Redskins a month later, the quarterback called Sonny Jurgensen to ask for permission to wear his No. 9.
"I know there's only one No. 9 with the Washington Redskins," Matthews said. "He's in the Hall of Fame. He was nice enough to let me use it. … People who aren't athletes might not understand, but you get attached to a number."
Jurgensen also told Matthews that he would be "opening up a can of worms with some people in Washington" if he wore No. 9, and team officials ultimately convinced Matthews it would be better if he picked a different digit.
"I'm not wearing number 9," Matthews said. "I'm going to cooperate and wear number 6. That's just the way it is."
Ten days later, Spurrier overturned his earlier decision to allow Wuerffel to wear No. 7, and Wuerffel went back to wearing No. 17.
The Redskins have only one officially retired number — Sammy Baugh's No. 33 — but several other numbers, including Sean Taylor's No. 21 and John Riggins' No. 44, haven't been issued to other players out of respect for those who made them famous.