Some jersey numbers in football aren't exactly coveted. Wide receivers represent numbers in the teens or eighties. Defensive ends will represent numbers in the fifties or nineties. The forty category is arguably the least coveted set of numbers in football history, particularly the latter forties. In the Falcons' uniform history series, we have reached that point, where players have been mostly forgotten about or vaguely remembered. One solid year will likely be the difference maker in determining who is the best Falcon of all time who wore 47 as a uniform number.
RB: Rick Badanjek
Badanjek only played eight games for Atlanta. After being drafted by Washington in 1986, he lasted only one season. Atlanta gave him an opportunity, but he never developed into being an NFL-caliber player. The former seventh round pick was released in 1988, which signaled the end of his career.
CB: Chris Bayne
The seventh round pick out of Fresno State in the 1997 draft lasted only two seasons in Atlanta. Bayne couldn’t move up on the depth chart and was relegated to special teams. Eventually, he was released in 1999 and didn’t have many opportunities afterwards. Miami cut him during training camp of the 2000 season. That led to him being drafted by the Las Vegas Outlaws of the illustrious XFL league. As everyone knows, that league was a complete disaster and Bayne’s career ended there. It becomes even more depressing to see a player's career end in a league run operated by this man.
KR/PR: Brad Davis
Davis only lasted two seasons in Atlanta. After being drafted in the ninth round of the 1975 draft, the former LSU Tiger didn’t receive many significant snaps. His career ended in 1977, as no other team signed him.
FS: Roger Harper
Despite being a second round pick, Harper was underwhelming throughout his career. In three seasons with Atlanta, Harper had only two interceptions and three forced fumbles. He wasn’t re-signed following the 1995 season. Dallas gave him one last opportunity to fulfill a backup role. After one season, Harper was released and never played again. Harper’s demise adds to a long list of disappointing safeties that have been drafted by Atlanta.
LS: Josh Harris
Harris has been the starting long snapper for three years now. He’s been relatively consistent, as nothing drastic or embarrassing has occurred during his career.
FS: Chris Hudson
There aren’t many achievements greater than winning the Jim Thorpe award for a college player. Hudson achieved that accomplishment in 1994, as he had one of the best collegian careers in Colorado football history. That didn’t translate into the pros, as Hudson failed to develop into a star in the NFL. After four average seasons in Jacksonville, Chicago signed him in 1999. Hudson managed to have a decent career for a third-round pick. Due to his college lineage, he left fans wanting more. Hudson ended his career in 2001 playing for Atlanta. After being a backup, he decided to retire at 30 years old.
FS/SS: Kevin McCadam
It surprised me to see that McCadam played four seasons in Atlanta. His name is recognizable, yet it feels like he only played during the Jim Mora, Jr. era. The former Hokie was drafted in the fifth round of the 2002 draft. After four seasons of McCadam playing special teams and handling backup safety duties, Atlanta didn’t re-sign him. McCadam was signed by Carolina a few weeks later. He lasted only one season there, as McCadam wasn't athletic enough to start in the NFL. After being cut by Jacksonville during pre-season, his career ended in 2007.
KR/PR: Nick Rassas
Rassas was drafted in the second round of the 1966 draft. After playing safety for Notre Dame, he converted into being a kick returner in the NFL. Rassas played three seasons in Atlanta before his career ended in 1969.
CB: Rudy Redmond
Despite being drafted by Chicago, Redmond started his career in Atlanta. He made his presence felt early by intercepting five passes during his rookie year. Unfortunately, Redmond only intercepted one pass for the following two seasons and was benched at one point. Atlanta chose not to re-sign him, which led to Detroit signing him in 1972. That ended up being his last season in the NFL. It’s pretty remarkable how circumstances changed for Redmond in a matter of two seasons.
CB: Mike Spivey
Spivey was a career journeyman by playing with four teams in seven seasons. That’s never a good sign for a former second round pick. He failed to succeed in Chicago, Oakland, and New Orleans through 1977-1981. Over the past thirty years, Atlanta has had the tendency to offer players one final opportunity. That was the case here, as Spivey once failed to make an impact for the Falcons. His career was over following the 1982 season.
Similar to number 46, this number is largely forgettable. Redmond will take the honors based on his five interception rookie season in 1969. That was the most significant achievement on a list of players that didn't achieve much. If Josh Harris can be reliable for five more seasons, you can make a justifiable argument that he should be the best player to wear number 47. For now, Redmond holds the honor for one of the most forgettable numbers in Falcon history.