As we tick the days off to the season opener against the Patriots on Sept. 7, each day we highlight the players who wore that particular jersey number during their tenure in Miami. In some cases, the player and jersey number are synonymous. In other cases, the jersey number represents sustained greatness at a particular position. Whatever the case may be, jersey numbers are an important part of the fabric of professional football.
99: It’s only fitting that we start the countdown with one of the greatest players ever in Dolphins history - Jason Taylor - who wore #99 throughout his Dolphins career. Taylor was inducted into the team’s Honor Roll in 2012 and holds numerous team records, including most career sacks. Ironically, the quarterback he sacked the most in his NFL career is the very same one the Dolphins will be facing on Opening Day - New England’s’ Tom Brady. Taylor sacked Brady 11.5 times, five more than any other player on his career hit list. (Drew Bledsoe is second with 6.5 sacks.) Brady probably will be glad not to see #99 lined up against him 99 days from now.
While Taylor’s jersey hasn’t been formally retired yet, #99 hasn’t been issued to anyone else since JT last wore it.
Among the other four players who wore #99 in team history is the club’s only Olympic medalist and the fastest player ever in Dolphins history - wide receiver Jimmy Hines. A sixth round draft choice of the Dolphins in 1968, he joined the team soon after winning two gold medals at the Olympic Games in Mexico City that summer (including the 100-meter dash, where he set a world record). Unfortunately, his feet were better than his hands. He spent the ’68 season on Miami’s taxi squad and played just nine games in ’69 for the Dolphins, with two catches for 23 yards and one kickoff return for 22 yards, before being waived.
The complete list of players who wore #99 includes Hines (1969); George Little (1985-87); Rick Graf (1988-90); Chuck Klingbeil (1991-95) and Taylor (1997-07, 2009, 2011).
Tomorrow: Is the best player in team history to wear # 98 still on the roster?