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2014 NFL countdown: 24 days left and the history of No. 24

Adrian. Wilson.


The Arizona Cardinals will start their regular season in 24 days.

24. That is a significant number in Arizona Cardinals history. No one wears it right now.

The guy to most recently wear it is going to be in the Ring of Honor -- safety Adrian Wilson.

Wilson wore No. 24 from 2002-2012. He was drafted in 2001 in the third round. He was mentored by Pat Tillman and wore 22 his rookie year. After Tillman left to join the Army, Wilson took over as a starter. He was one of the greatest Cardinals ever. He made it to five Pro Bowls and was an All-Pro one season. He is one of a handful of players to have at least 25 sacks and 25 interceptions in a career. He had eight sacks alone in 2005 and five interceptions in 2009. After the 2012 season, he was sadly released and it looked like he might be done in the league when he spent 2013 on injured reserve for the Patriots. But he now is on the Bears and making a case for the team.

Before Wilson, the very disappointing Tom Knight wore it in his final season in Arizona. He was the ninth overall pick in the 1997 NFL Draft and never became the great corner he was expected to be. He wore 22 most of his career.

In 1998 and 1999, it belonged to Mario Bates. A local kid who went to high school in Tucson and college to Arizona State, he came over to the Cardinals after four years with the Saints. He was the team's goalline back and also returned kicks in 1999. He scored six rushing touchdowns during the 1998 playoff year and nine the following year. On a side note, I worked with his mother in 1996 when I was just out of high school. Crazy.

Cornerback Patrick Hunter wore 24 in 1995.

In 1994, it was DB Herschel Currie.

A man that all Cardinals fans know, fullback Ron Wolfley wore 24 proudly from 1985-1991. He was a stud special teamer, making four straight Pro Bowls from 1986-1989. He is now a local radio personality and is the Cardinals color analyst on the radio.

From 1976-83, fullback Wayne Morris wore it and was a solid player. He rushed for over 3300 yards in eight seasons for St. Louis.

1969-70 -- Terry Brown

1959-63 -- Billy Stacy (A 1961 Pro Bowler)

1958 -- Bobby Watkins

1955-57 -- Jimmy Carr

1956 -- Julian Spence

1954 -- Al Brosky

1953 -- Jim Psaltis

1951-52 -- Emil Sitko

That's not a bad list. Wilson might make the Hall of Fame. Wolfley is well known. It was a good number.