The New York Jets, throughout the years, have had a colorful history of not only memorable games but also of great players that have come and gone.
If game wins and losses throughout the team’s history is a valued background knowledge when it comes to sports betting, so is the history of the team roster. With that in mind, here are the top five Jets players of all time.
Before sacks were even made an official stat, Gastineau was a whiz at it. Regarded by many as the best pass rusher in the history of the Jets, he had a total of 74 sacks. Gastineau recorded career high 22 sacks in 1984, setting NFL single season sack record. His record stood for 17 years until Green Bay's Brett Favre gifted a sack to Giants' Michael Strahan, allowing the latter to beat Gastineau's mark by half a sack.
Gastineau was a 3-time All Pro and 5-time Pro Bowler, leading the league in sacks two years in a row. Some people even argue that the only reason he is not in the Hall of Fame is that a lot of his sacks were made before it was an official stat for the game. Gastineau was inducted into the New York Jets Ring of Honor in 2012.
Joe Klecko was not only one of the most useful and the most flexible players on the defense for the Jets, he (alongside with Mark Gastineau) was also known for being part of the famed "New York Sacks Exchange." Klecko was a 2-time All Pro and 4-time Pro Bowler. Klecko was named AFC Defensive Player of the Year in 1981. According to the NFL, Klecko is listed as only having 24.0 career sacks. Sacks didn't become an official statistic until 1982, so his 50.5 sacks over the first five seasons of his career are nowhere to be found.
Throughout his career as a New York Jet, Joe showed his efficiency on defense by playing at all defensive lineman positions: defensive end, defensive tackle, and nose tackle. He's the only player in history who went to the Pro Bowl at three different positions. Klecko has been nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame several times but still has not been inducted. The Jets retired his #73 jersey in 2004 and then included him in the inaugural class of the NY Jets Ring of Honor in 2010.
Maynard was one of the originals back when it was still called the New York Titans. With 13 years of tenure on the team, he is considered by many as the best receiver in the New York Jets history. Maynard was a 2-time All AFL and a 4-time AFL All-Star.
Maynard finished his career with an overall record of 11,834 yards (11,732 with the Titans/Jets) in receiving and 88 touchdowns (all with the Titans/Jets). He's the all-time Jets leader in both categories. Maynard was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987. He had his #13 jersey retired by the Jets and, just like Klecko, was in the inaugural class of the NY Jets Ring of Honor in 2010.
One could argue that Curtis Martin is one of the best running back to have ever set foot on the field. Some even say that for this reason, he can also be considered as one of the most underrated players of all time.
Martin played a total of 11 NFL seasons, most of it being with the Jets. After spending the first three seasons of his NFL career with the Patriots, he moved on to sign with the Jets in 1998 as a restricted free agent. Throughout his career, Martin rushed for 14,101 yards on the ground, currently placing him sixth on the list of NFL all time rushing leaders.
Martin was a 2-time All Pro and a 5-time Pro Bowler. He led the league in rushing in 2004, which was his tenth consecutive 1,000+ yard season. Unfortunately, he suffered a right knee injury in the second game of the 2005 season, which ultimately ended his NFL career. The Jets retired his #28 jersey in 2012, the same year he was also inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Well, of course, it's Broadway Joe. In 1969, which was arguably the highest point of his NFL career, Joe Namath made a bold claim in front of the press by saying that, despite being 18.5-point underdogs, the Jets were going to win Super Bowl III. The claim was not a light one, since back then, the NFL's Baltimore Colts were considered to be the “greatest football team in history.” The Jets, on the other hand, represented the lowly AFL that had never won a Super Bowl before.
Namath's bold claim and the subsequent Jets win changed history of professional football. The Jets pummeled the Colts’s defense while effectively neutralizing Baltimore's offense. Namath threw for a total of 206 yards and made history by leading the Jets to their first and only Super Bowl win. He was named the game's MVP.
He was a 4-time AFL All-Star, 1-time All-AFL and a Pro Bowler in 1972, the year he led the NFL in passing yards. Namath was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and had his #12 jersey retired by the Jets in 1985.