Peter King questions Joe Theismann's Redskins legend status

Josh Luckenbaugh
May 06, 2019 - 9:02 am

Joe Theismann giving Redskins rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins permission to wear No. 7 has created some minor controversy, mostly among those who believe Theismann's legacy in Washington should make the number off-limits to current players. 

However, Peter King is in the exact opposite camp, questioning Theismann's career credentials in his latest "Football Morning in America" column. 

"I think Joe Theismann even seeming to suggest Dwayne Haskins had to kiss his ring before being rewarded with the number seven jersey in Washington is really weird, and a little bit mindful of the Emperor with No Clothes," King wrote. "Would anyone think that a man with fewer passing yards than Steve Grogan and Jim Harbaugh, with fewer touchdown passes than Earl Morrall and Jon Kitna, with a lower career rating than Kyle Orton and Dave Krieg … should have his number retired?"

"Mark Rypien won a Super Bowl. Trent Dilfer won a Super Bowl. Brad Johnson and Jeff Hostetler won one. Come on. The fact that Washington never gave Theismann’s number out for years after his gruesome injury is a nice gesture, I suppose. But it’s silly to think he was an all-timer, the kind of player whose number should never be worn again."

Yes, there are several examples of QBs not considered great who have won Super Bowls, but Theismann has more than just an NFL title on his resume, earning league MVP honors in 1983 and reaching two Pro Bowls in a career cut short by injury. 

"Theismann’s 84 victories are the most by a Redskins quarterback. He won a Super Bowl and played in a second, something no other Washington passer has done," 106.7 The Fan columnist Rick Snider wrote last week. "For overall durability and success, Washington has never truly found his long-term successor."

Given the Redskins' struggles over the last two decades, it's understandable why fans are nostalgic for Theismann's achievements in D.C. and hold him in such high regard. Theismann's revered status within the Redskins makes plenty of sense, and thus Haskins' desire to get his blessing to wear No. 7 is completely understandable.

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