Curtis Martin and the 25 Toughest New York Jets from the Past 25 Years

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Curtis Martin and the 25 Toughest New York Jets from the Past 25 Years
Al Bello/Getty Images

The word "tough" might be one of the most overused and vague terms when describing NFL players. It takes a certain amount of toughness just to put on the pads and participate in a single practice, so anyone who has any kind of NFL career has to be considered tough.

But what separates the average NFL player from ones who eschew extreme pain to get out on the field every week? How does one identify a player who is willing to risk his future physical and mental well-being from one who is simply cashing a pay check?

What is tough?

While toughness is an intangible that is difficult to measure and quantify, there are certain players who are clearly among the elite when it comes to being a card-carrying member of the "Tough Guy Club."

Tough guys overcome tremendous odds to make it in the NFL. They play through injuries, and they go over the middle to catch passes that resemble a floating helium balloons. They gladly take on menial duties like blocking and turn them into an entire career. They can be highly productive for a long time, or they can play the game with such reckless abandon that their body gives out after only a few seasons.

When people tell a tough guy "you can't," they work harder than ever to prove everyone wrong. 

The Jets may not have always had the most success as a franchise, but I would take the players listed in this slideshow into a fight against any other group any team could put together over the past 25 years.

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