ASHBURN, Va., — The Washington Commanders will retire quarterback Sonny Jurgensen’s jersey, making him the fourth player in franchise history to earn that honor.
Jurgensen, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1983, also served as an analyst on the team’s radio broadcast from 1981-2019 and was one of the organization’s most beloved players. The Commanders will have a ceremony for Jurgensen, who turned 88 Tuesday, at their Week 18 game vs. Dallas.
Washington also has retired the numbers for quarterback Sammy Baugh, receiver Bobby Mitchell and safety Sean Taylor. Baugh’s number was the only one retired until they did the same for Mitchell in 2020. They retired Taylor’s number last season.
Washington traded for Jurgensen in 1964 and he quickly became a fan favorite as the team employed a dangerous offense. In 11 years with Washington, Jurgensen threw 179 touchdown passes and 116 interceptions. He threw 31 touchdown passes in 1967 – the franchise’s last quarterback to top 30 touchdown throws.
Jurgensen built a strong combination with future fellow Hall of Famers Mitchell and receiver Charley Taylor. From 1964-70 they ranked in the top 10 in points or yards eight times.
But the team did not post a winning record during Jurgensen’s tenure until 1970 under new coach Vince Lombardi.
Jurgensen, who spent his first seven seasons with Philadelphia, was largely a backup during his final four years with Washington.