After two years in the NFL, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Clelin Ferrell will no longer be wearing the number ’96.’ Instead, he will be switching to the number he wore while at Clemson in ’99.’
Given Arden Key’s release, we figured it was a good time to take a look at this number’s strange history with the Raiders. Despite being a visually pleasing number, it simply has not been worn with much success in Silver and Black. These are the recent players to don “99” who Ferrell will be tasked with living up to.
Previous Raiders who have worn this unfortunate number…
Sapp is one of the most loathed players in Raiders history. On top of that, his name comes to mind when fans think of that number.
Signed to a seven-year, 36.6 million dollar contract in 2004, Sapp only played out four years of this contract before retiring. Sapp managed a solid 2006 season with 10 sacks, but only had 9.5 sacks over his three other seasons in Oakland. Accused of simply cashing checks throughout his Raiders’ tenure, fans were happy to see him leave in 2007.
After eleven years playing for the Dallas Cowboys, Ellis signed a three-year contract with the Raiders for $10 million in 2009. Starting fourteen games for Oakland, Ellis recorded seven sacks. Unfortunately, he was released the next season.
A second-round pick of the Raiders in 2010, Houston never lived up to expectations as a pass rusher. On one hand, Houston played in all 64 games during his four-year tenure. Regrettably, he only accumulated a paltry 16.5 sacks for the Silver and Black.
Following four seasons spent with the Chicago Bears and Houston Texans, Houston showed his loyalty by signing a one-day contract to retire a Raider.
The most recent “99”, Key came to the Raiders with lots of hype. Considered a steal in the third round, Key hasn’t found his footing yet in the NFL. With three sacks in his three seasons, Key was let go during the current offseason.
For Ferrell, he has a pretty easy path to be the best player to wear “99” in Raiders history. As far as Las Vegas is concerned, they will hope the return to “99” also brings the return of Ferrell’s high-level play. Of course, his jersey number will not be the sole reason he succeeds, but it could help his confidence.
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*Top Photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images