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LB Derrick Thomas Will Have His #58 Retired, Family to Receive HOF Ring at Arrowhead vs. Denver on December 6th

Jun 23, 2009, 5:30:57 PM

The Kansas City Chiefs announced on Tuesday that the late LB Derrick Thomas will have his jersey #58 retired by the Chiefs and his Pro Football Hall of Fame ring will be presented to his family in a ceremony at Arrowhead during halftime of the Chiefs contest vs. Denver (12/6).

Thomas will be enshrined as part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2009 in Canton, Ohio on Saturday, August 8th. Thomas will be the 10th player in franchise history to have his jersey retired, joining K Jan Stenerud (3), QB Len Dawson (16), CB Emmitt Thomas (18), RB Abner Haynes (28), RB Stone Johnson (33), RB Mack Lee Hill (36), LB Willie Lanier (63), LB Bobby Bell (78) and DT Buck Buchanan (86). Thomas was posthumously inducted into the Chiefs Hall of Fame in 2001, and the club’s Most Valuable Player Award was subsequently renamed in his honor as the Derrick Thomas Award.

Thomas was the fourth overall selection in the ‘89 NFL Draft out of the University of Alabama. A nine-time Pro Bowl selection, Thomas registered a franchise-record 126.5 career sacks. The Miami, Florida native also holds Chiefs records for career safeties (3), forced fumbles (45) and fumble recoveries (19). Only two players in NFL history own more safeties or fumble return TDs (4) than Thomas. He ranks sixth in team history with 728 career tackles (558 solo) and also contributed 34 passes defensed, 444 QB pressures and one INT.

A member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s NFL All-Decade Team of the ‘90s, no player recorded more sacks during that decade than Thomas (116.5). He established a single-season franchise record with 20.0 sacks in ‘90, including an NFL single-game record 7.0 sacks vs. Seattle (11/11/90). During the ‘90s, the Chiefs constructed a 102-58 regular season record and led the NFL in turnover differential (+128). In the 17 seasons prior to Thomas’ arrival in Kansas City, the franchise made just one playoff appearance and enjoyed just four winning seasons. During Thomas’ 11 seasons with the Chiefs from ‘89-99, the team earned seven playoff berths, won three AFC West titles and recorded 10 winning seasons.

Truly one of the most dominant players of his era, Thomas produced 27 multi-sack games during his NFL tenure. From ‘92-99, the Chiefs were an astounding 16-1 when Thomas registered 2.0 or more sacks. He was also the key figure in Kansas City’s record-setting ‘95 defensive unit that ranked in the NFL’s top five in scoring defense (1st), total defense (2nd), rushing defense (3rd) and pass defense (5th) as the Chiefs posted a 13-3 regular season record for the first time in team history.

A stalwart in the Kansas City community, Thomas was named the ‘93 NFL Man of the Year for his philanthropic efforts. Thomas’ “Third and Long Foundation” is still active in the Kansas City community, continuing the reading and scholarship programs he began. The “Third and Long Foundation” celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2009, with Thomas’ longtime friend and teammate, DE Neil Smith, serving as the driving force of the organization. In June of 2001, the Derrick Thomas Academy, a tuition-free public charter school was launched in Kansas City. The academy is the first-ever public elementary school named after an NFL hero.

Metcalf Bank, the official banking partner of the Kansas City Chiefs, will proudly be honoring Thomas’ philanthropic legacy by making it possible for nearly 200 area students to attend the club’s game vs. Denver (12/6). Metcalf Bank will be donating 120 tickets to the Derrick Thomas Academy for game and will be providing 72 tickets for students from the “Third and Long Foundation.”

Thomas died in his hometown of Miami, Florida on February 8, 2000 after suffering a serious auto accident in Kansas City, Missouri on January 23, 2000. He was buried in his hometown of Miami on February 19, 2000.

Derrick Thomas Photo Gallery