V.J. Lovero-USA TODAY Sports

V.J. Lovero-USA TODAY Sports


Several former 49ers named the best to ever wear their jersey numbers by CBS Sports

Jul 6, 2020 at 10:00 AM--


The San Francisco 49ers have 12 retired jersey numbers. Some of the most iconic athletes in franchise history wore them. For some, their names are among the most well-known in all of sports.

CBS Sports recently released a list of the best player to wear each jersey number in NFL history, and the 49ers are well represented (h/t to Matt Flanagan for the find). Below are the former 49ers players who were among the list, and what was written about each by CBS Sports writer Josh Edwards. I've also included anyone who may be known for having played with another team but had a stint with San Francisco.

Feel free to leave a comment below if you feel anyone was left off the list.

No. 8: Steve Young, QB
San Francisco 49ers, 1987–1999

Young was selected in the 1984 NFL Supplemental Draft. He was a three-time Super Bowl champion and was named MVP of Super Bowl XXIX. His contributions to one of the NFL's most successful dynasties are immeasurable. The Connecticut native accumulated league honors at every turn en route to a Pro Football Hall of Fame induction. The seven-time Pro Bowl selection threw for 33,124 yards and 232 touchdowns.

No. 16: Joe Montana, QB
San Francisco 49ers, 1979-1992

Montana was the other half of the potent 49ers quarterback duo. He won four Super Bowls and was named MVP in three. The Pennsylvania native was a six-time All-Pro in addition to going to eight Pro Bowls. The two-time regular season MVP threw for 40,551 yards and 273 touchdowns. His efforts led to his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction.

No. 21: Deion Sanders, DB
San Francisco 49ers, 1994

It was always Primetime in the NFL during his 17 seasons. The valued defensive back and return man accumulated 53 interceptions, 10 defensive touchdowns and nine return touchdowns over the course of his career. The two-time Super Bowl champion went to eight Pro Bowls and was named a first-team All-Pro nine times despite concurrently dabbling in a professional baseball career. Sanders has since gone on to be inducted into the College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame.

No. 26: Rod Woodson, DB
San Francisco 49ers, 1997

Woodson was the No. 10 overall selection in the 1987 NFL Draft. The Pro Football and College Football Halls of Fame opened their doors for him after his playing career had been exhausted. The Super Bowl champion was selected to 11 Pro Bowls and was named an eight-time All-Pro. A total of 71 passes were picked off by his hands. His 12 interceptions returned for a touchdown and 32 fumbles recoveries are both records.

No. 37: Jimmy Johnson, DB/WR
San Francisco 49ers, 1961-1976

The former No. 6 overall selection recorded 47 interceptions over the course of his career. He went to five Pro Bowls and was named an eight-time All-Pro. The former Bruin played on both sides of the ball. The Pro Football Hall of Fame welcomed him in 1992.

No. 42: Ronnie Lott, DB
San Francisco 49ers, 1981-1990

Lott won four Super Bowls during his illustrious career. The former No. 8 overall selection was an eight time first-team All-Pro. He initially began his career as a cornerback before making a transition to safety. The tip of his pinky finger was amputated as a result of a tackle in 1985. His career ended with 63 interceptions, 16 forced fumbles, 17 fumble recoveries and five touchdowns.

No. 46: Tim McDonald, DB
San Francisco 49ers, 1993-1999

USC has done a notable job with defensive backs as evidenced by this list. McDonald is a Super Bowl champion. He was selected to six Pro Bowls and is a six-time All-Pro. The former Trojan recorded 1,263 tackles, 40 interceptions and 16 fumble recoveries. His post-playing career has included coaching stops with the Jets and Bills.

No. 57: Rickey Jackson, LB
San Francisco 49ers, 1994-1995

Jackson was a Super Bowl champion with the 49ers. He has been selected to six Pro Bowls and was named a five-time All-Pro. The Florida native accumulated 1,173 tackles, 128 sacks, eight interceptions and 40 forced fumbles over the course of 15 NFL seasons. Jackson has been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

No. 80: Jerry Rice, WR
San Francisco 49ers, 1985-2000

Few would argue with the assertion that Rice is the best NFL wide receiver of all-time. The first-ballot Hall of Famer holds the record for most points scored by a non-kicker. Rice holds the NFL records for receptions (1,549), receiving yards (22,895) and receiving touchdowns (197). He was named MVP in one of his three Super Bowl victories. Despite not possessing blistering speed, the Mississippi native took pride in every element of his game: catching, blocking and route-running. He went to 13 Pro Bowls and was named an All-Pro 12 times during his 20 NFL seasons.

No. 84: Randy Moss, WR
San Francisco 49ers, 2012

Moss holds the record for most receiving touchdowns in a season (23). The six-time Pro Bowl receiver entered the league as the No. 21 overall selection. He was a six-time All-Pro. His career ended with 982 receptions for 15,292 yards and 156 receiving touchdowns. His efforts led to a Pro Football Hall of Fame induction.

No. 91: Kevin Greene, LB
San Francisco 49ers, 1997

Greene is a five-time Pro Bowl selection and a three-time All-Pro. He was named Defensive Player of the Year in 1996 when he recorded 14.5 sacks. In his career, he recorded 160 sacks. Following his playing career, he coached outside linebackers with the Packers and Jets. One of those coaching seasons ended with a Super Bowl. Greene was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016.

No. 95: Richard Dent, DE
San Francisco 49ers, 1994

Dent was a member of the glorified 1985 Bears defense. The Atlanta native was a Super Bowl MVP in one of his two championships. Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Dent was a four-time Pro Bowl selection as well as a four-time All-Pro. He recorded 137.5 sacks and eight interceptions during his career.





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