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How long should the Buffalo Bills wait before letting other players use number 95?

Should they let anyone wear the number again?

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

After his successful 13-year career, Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams finally called the 2018 season his last. Williams was the bright spot on a team that went through a lot of gloomy seasons. Despite the team’s struggles, he stuck it out in Buffalo when he could have gone elsewhere and he was rewarded in 2017, when the Bills broke their playoff drought.

Williams is going to be on the Bills Wall of Fame, but he won't be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and retiring his number is probably unlikely. As it stands right now, the Bills only have three numbers that are officially retired and all were set aside for first-ballot Hall of Famers.

  • 12 for Jim Kelly
  • 34 for Thurman Thomas
  • 78 for Bruce Smith
  • Unofficially, 32 is retired for O.J. Simpson

Other numbers are handled with care. The Bills waited a year after Fred Jackson played his last season of football to relinquish his number. Lee Evans wore Andre Reed’s 83 but received Reed’s blessing before doing so. Six of the Bills’ eight players in the Hall of Fame have spent the bulk of their career with the Bills, but only the three mentioned earlier are retired. Williams is fifth in sacks all time for the Bills and second only to Bruce Smith for games played by a defensive player.

The chance of retiring Williams’s number is slim, but what is an appropriate amount of time before the Bills allow others to wear 95?