Thursday, April 2
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Retired NFL Jersey Numbers: AFC North

Since it’s the off-season I thought I’d start a fun project involving NFL history. So I’m going to go division by division and post football card galleries (when available) featuring all NFL players who have had their jersey numbers retired by their teams. This week it’s the four squads of the AFC North — the Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, and Pittsburgh Steelers.

Previous galleries: AFC East, NFC East

Baltimore Ravens (0)

The Ravens, who have only been in existence since 1996, have not yet retired any jersey numbers. Much like the Cowboys, the team has its own Ring of Honor for former players and personnel. So like Dallas, Baltimore gets no football cards here. The list, in order of induction:

#19 — Johnny Unitas
#24 — Lenny Moore
#70 — Art Donovan
#77 — Jim Parker
#82 — Raymond Berry
#83 — Ted Hendricks
#88 — John Mackey
#89 — Gino Marchetti
#99 — Michael McCrary
#58 — Peter Boulware
#75 — Jonathan Ogden
#3 — Matt Stover
#31 — Jamal Lewis

I have no doubt that Ray Lewis will be inducted in short order.

Cincinnati Bengals (1)

#54 — Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson 1973 Topps football card

The lone number retired by the Bengals belongs to center Bob Johnson. #54 was a member of Cincy’s inaugural 1968 AFL squad, and remained with the team for 12 seasons.

Cleveland Browns (5)

#14 — Otto Graham

Otto Graham 1952 Bowman football card

Graham wore #60 for much of his career, but he was forced to change it to #14 in 1952 after the NFL passed a rule requiring offensive linemen to wear jersey numbers 50–79 so referees could more easily identify ineligible receivers.

#32 — Jim Brown

Jim Brown 1959 Topps football card

#45 — Ernie Davis

Ernie Davis 1962 Topps football card

The Elmira Express never played in a regular season game for the Browns. He was diagnosed with leukemia in the summer of 1962 and died the following May at the age of 23.

#46 — Don Fleming

Don Fleming 1963 Topps football card

#76 — Lou Groza

Lou Groza 1956 Topps football card

Pittsburgh Steelers (1)

#70 — Ernie Stautner

Ernie Stautner 1959 Topps football card

Ten-time All Pro Ernie Stautner played his entire career (1950-63) in Pittsburgh, and is the only Steeler to have his jersey number retired. Although the team doesn’t officially retire numbers anymore, certain ones haven’t been reissued. This includes #12 (Terry Bradshaw), #32 (Franco Harris), #52 (Mike Webster), and #75 (Joe Greene).

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