The Washington Football Team will honor one of their all-time great players this weekend. On Thursday, Washington announced Taylor's No. 21 jersey will be retired, making him the third player in the team's 89-year history to receive the honor. Washington will also formally commemorate the renaming of the road leading to FedEx Field as Sean Taylor Road with family and friends before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
"I came into the NFL the same year as Sean Taylor and immediately his athletic ability, resilience, grit, and relentless work ethic set him apart. I and many others looked to him as a role model," Jason Wright, Washington Football Team President said in a press release. "The fact that he was tragically taken so early hurt our player community, but also our fans, coaches, and staff. We will continue to remember him and hold him up as an example of professionalism and excellence, and we will all strive to mirror his excellence in our own ways."
Washington is also giving away a limited-edition commemorative Sean Taylor rally towel to the first 10,000 fans to enter the stadium. Additionally, players will wear helmet stickers that pay homage to Taylor while the full-time staff will wear a No. 21 gameday pin.
Taylor was drafted by Washington No. 5 overall in 2004 from Miami. He immediately became a star as he was named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team after posting 76 tackles, one sack and four interceptions. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2006 and 2007 while also named to the All-Pro Second Team in 2007 after posting 42 tackles and five interceptions in nine games.
Taylor died at the age of 24 on Nov. 27, 2007, after being shot by intruders at his home in Miami the day prior. He was shot in the upper leg, causing his femoral artery to be severed. On Nov. 30, four men – Venjah K. Hunte, 20; Eric Rivera, Jr., 17; Jason Scott Mitchell, 19; and Charles Kendrick Lee Wardlow, 18 - were arrested. All four men were charged with felony second-degree murder, farmer burglary and home invasion robbery with a firearm. In May 2008, Timothy Brown, 16, was charged with first-degree murder and burglary. All five suspects were sentenced to prison.