If Tua Tagavailoa had been drafted by any other team besides the Miami Dolphins, he probably would have chosen to wear No. 13 in the NFL, which is the same number that he wore during his college career at Alabama. However, that number isn't an option in Miami because the Dolphins retired it back in 2003 as a way to honor the greatest quarterback in franchise history, Dan Marino.
With 13 out the window, Tua had to pick a different number this week and he finally unveiled his choice on Tuesday. The Dolphins rookie quarterback has decided to wear a number that you don't usually see on quarterbacks: One.
Tua tweeted out a picture of his new number after making the announcement.
Although Tua won't get to wear 13, he didn't sound too bummed out about that fact when he was asked about it following the NFL Draft in April.
"For me, I'm not too worried about what number I have. I understand No. 13 is retired, and it should be," Tagovailoa said, via ESPN.com. "Dan Marino, he's the GOAT. He's like the mayor out there, and I have much respect for him. Whatever number I'm given by that organization, if it's 78 or 99 -- I'll wear it. It doesn't matter."
Thirteen might be retired in Miami, but one definitely isn't. The last time a notable Dolphins player wore that number came in 2017 when it was donned by kicker Cody Parkey. Although 1 seems like it would be a popular number, it's actually a pretty rare one in the NFL. Only 17 players wore it last season with the most notable ones probably being Cam Newton and Kyler Murray. The most successful player to ever wear the number was Warren Moon, although Jason Elam and Gary Anderson both wore it during kicking careers that lasted more than 15 years.
In Dolphins history, only one player has worn the number for more than five seasons, and that came back in the 1970s when kicker Garo Yepremian wore it from 1970-78, a span where he played on two Super Bowl winning teams in Miami, which includes the undefeated Dolphins of 1972.
If Tua wins just one Super Bowl in Miami, the Dolphins decision to select him with the fifth overall pick will look like a steal, and no one will care whether he wins that Super Bowl while wearing No. 1 or 13 or 78 or 99.