Can Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield be the best No. 6 to ever play in the NFL?
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield could very well end up being the greatest No. 6 to ever play in the National Football League.
When you think of all-time great jersey numbers in the NFL, what numbers come to mind?
12 has to be up there. Many legendary quarterbacks have donned the number. You have Hall of Famer’s like Joe Namath, Roger Staubach, Ken Stabler, and a Steeler’s quarterback that I would rather not name. You also have current players like Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and Andrew Luck. The number12 definitely has to be high on the list.
Cleveland Browns fans will be quick to point out the significance of 32, and rightly so. Jim Brown, arguably the greatest to ever lace up cleats, made the number famous. But Jim isn’t the only great running back to rock the number, you also have O.J. Simpson, Marcus Allen, and Franco Harris (I wish I could write this article without acknowledging any Steelers, but…they existed). As far as running backs are concerned the number 32 is the gold standard.
There are many other numbers that are associated with greatness, but to not get too far off my primary subject just think of the great players that come to mind when you hear numbers like 34, 75, and 80. The names attached to those jersey numbers are epic.
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Now, to the heart of this discussion. Who is the greatest player to ever wear the number 6? What all-time greats can you think of that have worn that jersey number? Surely, in the illustrious 99 years of the National Football League, there has to be at least one legend that is associated with the No. 6. Actually — there is not.
There have been two players in the Hall of Fame that have worn the number, Ray Flaherty and Benny Friedman. Both of those players played in the pre-modern era, Flaherty as an end and as a Coach, and Friedman as a quarterback.
But neither was enshrined in the Hall as the No. 6. They both officially are listed in the Hall of Fame as the number 1, although they both wore five different jersey numbers during their respective careers.
That brings us to Baker Mayfield.
Before we start making the case for the talented second-year signal caller, it should be stated, this article is not trying to put a gold jacket on Mayfield. He is an entire career away from Canton, and he will have to earn every single inch on the field to get there. But it must be acknowledged, there is a path.