The 50 Greatest New York Jets Of All Time

Sammy MakkiAnalyst IOctober 23, 2010

The 50 Greatest New York Jets Of All Time

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    The New York Jets have only won one Super Bowl in their 50-year history but they've had some great players over the years. Every decade has brought new talent and a new face.

    Of course everyone knows that Joe Namath is the greatest Jet of all-time, but how about other guys who made their presence felt? Without further ado, here is a list of the 50 greatest Jets of all time.

50. Jim Turner (1964-1970)

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    Jim Turner was a place-kicker for the Jets in the 1960s and was a valuable member of their championship team.

    Back in 1968, the year the Jets won Super Bowl III, Turner made his first of two Pro Bowls, leading the league in field goals made in 1968 and 1969.

    He kicked three field goals in Super Bowl III and was responsible for 10 of the Jets' 16 points in the game. He kicked 153 field goals in his seven seasons with the Jets.

49. Dave Herman (1964-1973)

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    Dave Herman (left)

    Dave Herman was a two-time Pro Bowl tackle and member of the 1968 Jets Super Bowl winning team. He played all 10 seasons of his career with Gang Green and started every game from 1965-1968.

48. Jerome Barkum (1972-1983)

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    Jerome Barkum played all 12 seasons of his career with the Jets. He was a Pro Bowl Wide Receiver in 1973, amassing 44 catches for 810 yards.

    Barkum was the Jets ninth overall pick in the 1972 NFL Draft and made his biggest catch in a 1981 game played at Shea Stadium. With the Jets trailing 15-9 late in the fourth quarter, he caught a touchdown pass from Richard Todd to beat the Miami Dolphins, 16-15.

    He gained a total of 4,789 yards receiving in his career.

47. Al Atkinson (1965-1974)

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    Al Atkinson was a Pro Bowl Linebacker for the Jets, spending all 10 seasons of his career with the team. From 1965-1973, he intercepted at least one pass a season and was the starting middle linebacker in Super Bowl III.

46. James Hasty (1988-1994)

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    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    James Hasty was a solid cornerback for the Jets in the late 1980s and early 90s. He was drafted by the Jets in the 1988 NFL draft and made a huge impact in the defensive backfield.

    He spent his first seven seasons with the Jets and had three seasons of five interceptions. He intercepted 24 passes total and in 1991, he recorded 94 tackles to go along with three interceptions.

    He was one of the top cornerbacks in the league and although he didn't make a Pro Bowl until he went to the Chiefs to form a great duo with Dale Carter, he's still a top-50 all-time Jets player.

45. Shaun Ellis (2000-Present)

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    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Shaun Ellis has been a great Jets defensive end since 2000 and is the longest-tenured Jet. Drafted 12th overall by New York in 2000, Ellis has made his mark getting to the quarterback. He has recorded 71.5 sacks to-date, including a career-high 12.5 in his Pro Bowl season of 2003.

    Ellis made the Pro Bowl again in 2009, and has been right in the middle of the Jets defensive schemes over the last decade.

    He's only 33-years-old and is once again having a fine season with 3.5 sacks in the first six games.

44. Pat Leahy (1974-1991)

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    Pat Leahy (kicking)Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    Pat Leahy played 18 seasons in the NFL and every one of them with the Jets. He was a kicker through the 1970s and 80s and finished his career with a field goal percentage of 71.4.

    He was a First-Team All-Pro in 1978, which was the highest honor he ever received. In 1990, at the age of 39, Leahy went 23-for-26 in field goal attempts, an incredible percentage of 88.5 for a kicker that old. He retired two seasons later.

    Leahy also kicked eight career field goals in the playoffs.

43. Gerry Philbin (1964-1972)

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    Gerry Philbin was a great pass-rusher at defensive end for eight full seasons. In 1968, his first of two Pro Bowl seasons, Philbin recorded 14.5 sacks for the Jets championship winning team.

    In Super Bowl III, Philbin was a huge part of a Jets defense which only allowed seven points to the heavily-favored Baltimore Colts.

    He was a steady force throughout his career, always being in the center of pass plays and making sure opposing quarterbacks had no time to throw the ball. In 1968 and 1969, he was a Pro Bowler and First-Team All-Pro.

42. D'Brickashaw Ferguson (2006-Present)

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    D'Brickashaw Ferguson (number 60)Al Bello/Getty Images

    D'Brickashaw Ferguson was the Jets fourth overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft and has started every game in his four-plus year career.

    As a valuable left tackle, Ferguson is a key member of the Jets offensive line, and has blocked for backs like Leon Washington, Thomas Jones, and now, LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene.

    He is currently in the final year of a five-year contract, and you'd figure the Jets will bring him back for years to come.

41. Rich Caster (1970-1977)

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    Rich Caster was a three-time Pro Bowl tight end in his eight seasons with the team. He was a valuable receiver in the 1970s and in 1972 he caught 39 passes for a career-high 833 yards.

    In 1974, he caught an 89-yard reception, which was the longest in the league that season. He went for 4,434 receiving yards in his stay with the Jets.

40. Chad Pennington (2000-2007)

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    Chad Pennington was the 18th overall draft pick in 2000 and he would eventually replace Vinny Testaverde as quarterback.

    Pennington had some fine seasons as quarterback, taking the Jets to the playoffs in 2002, 2004, and 2006. He led the NFL in completion percentage in 2002, his first full season as a starter, at 68.9.

    Pennington's career has been marred by injuries, suffering from multiple shoulder injuries, which eventually led to his departure after the 2007 season.

    He was and to this day is a beloved member of the Jets family, known for being a class-act on and off the field.

39. Nick Mangold (2006-Present)

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    Al Bello/Getty Images

    In his fifth season with the team,Nick Mangold has developed into arguably the best center in pro football. Mangold was the 29th overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft.

    Before the 2010 season began, the Jets made Mangold the highest-paid NFL center, signing him to a seven-year, $55 million contract.

    He is known to be an extremely smart center, making great line calls while adeptly protecting his quarterback.

    He's going to be a Jet for a very long time, and is already among the top-50 players in team history.

38. Richard Todd (1976-1983)

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    Richard Todd was the sixth overall draft pick in 1976 and he took the team to two playoff appearances as their quarterback. He didn't turn out to be the guy the Jets thought he was in his eight seasons, but he was solid.

    After a first-round playoff exit to the Bills in 1981, Todd took the team to the Conference Championship game in 1982.

    After wins on the road against the Bengals and Los Angeles Raiders, Todd had an awful performance against the Dolphins. For the rights to go to the Super Bowl, Todd went 15-for-37 with five interceptions in Miami, ending the Jets season.

    He would spend one more season with the team before moving on to New Orleans.

37. Jason Ferguson (1997-2004)

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    Jason Ferguson (number 72)

    Jason Ferguson was a solid nose tackle for the Jets for seven seasons. He averaged 3.0 sacks per season while with the team and was a big part of their playoff run in 1998.

    He missed the entire 2001 season after tearing his right rotator cuff, but returned to play three full seasons after that.

    His career year came with the Jets in 2003, recording 4.5 sacks. He retired from the NFL in July of this year.

36. Ken O'Brien (1984-1992)

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    Quarterback Ken O'Brien was another Jets first-round draft pick that didn't play up to his full potential, but was still solid. Drafted in 1983, 24th overall, O'Brien took the Jets to three playoff appearances and won one playoff game in 1986.

    He was a two-time Pro Bowler and had some monster seasons. In his first season as the starting quarterback in 1985, O'Brien threw 25 touchdowns and only eight interceptions. He made the Pro Bowl, tallying a career-high 3,888 yards.

    He had a down season the following year, throwing the same amount of touchdowns but 20 interceptions. It was an up-and-down career, as is the case with many Jets quarterbacks.

35. Jumbo Elliot (1996-2002)

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    Jumbo Elliot was a tackle for the Jets for six seasons and other than being very solid, he was known for one famous play.

    In 2000, during a Monday night game, Elliot caught his only career touchdown tying the game against the Dolphins at 37-37.

    The game is known as the "Monday Night Miracle," as the Jets trailed 30-7 after three quarters. The Jets would outscore the Dolphins 30-7 in the fourth and win the game on a field goal in overtime, 40-37.

    Although he won a Super Bowl as a Giant, he's still a top-50 Jet.

34. Laveranues Coles (2000-2002, 2005-2008)

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    Laveranues Coles will always be liked by Jets fans after two stints with the team as a valuable receiver. Coles spent seven combined seasons with the team and returned to the Jets for training camp this season.

    He broke out in 2002 when he caught 89 passes for 1,264 yards. He stunningly didn't make the Pro Bowl team that season but made his only appearance with the Redskins the following season.

    After going to Washington for two seasons, Coles returned to the Jets in 2005 to reunite with Chad Pennington. He had another great season in 2006, catching 91 passes for 1,098 yards.

    In both of his monster seasons in 2002 and 2006, the Jets made the playoffs, carried in part by Coles. He will always be remembered as a go-to target who made plays and helped the Jets win many games.

33. Verlon Biggs (1965-1970)

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    Verlon Biggs was a part of the Jets' Super Bowl III victory and was a three-time Pro Bowl defensive end. He played six seasons for the Jets and consistently got to the quarterback, keying a Jets defense that stopped the Baltimore Colts.

    He wasn't happy towards the end of his Jets tenure, eventually parting ways and heading to the Redskins. But he deserves credit for his work in New York. As a star player on the franchise's only championship team, Biggs definitely deserves to make this list.

32. Joe Fields (1975-1987)

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    Joe Fields was a Jets center for 13 seasons and was elected to two Pro Bowls and one First-Team All-Pro.

    He provided great protection for his quarterbacks and was one of the best centers in the league during his prime. Before current center Nick Mangold made his name known, Fields was probably the best center in Jets history.

31. John Riggins (1971-1975)

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    John Riggins went on to have a Hall of Fame career with the Washington Redskins, but still had some fine moments to begin his career with the Jets. He was the sixth overall draft pick in 1971 out of Kansas, and played his first five seasons with the Jets.

    During his time with Gang Green, Riggins broke some franchise rushing records

    In 1975, he rushed for 1,005 yards, becoming the first player in Jets history to rush for 1,000 or more yards in a season. That was the only season of his career in which he made the Pro Bowl and his last season with the Jets.

    He would sign a free-agent contract with the Redskins in 1976.  Riggins authored a Hall of Fame career and was the MVP of Super Bowl XVII. He's one of the greatest running backs in Jets history.

30. Vinny Testaverde (1998-2003, 2005)

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    Vinny Testaverde was the first overall draft pick for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1987. At the age of 35 in 1998, the quarterback led the Jets to the AFC Championship Game in his first year with the team. They would lose the game to the Broncos, 23-10, despite having a slim 3-0 lead at halftime.

    The following season in 1999, the Jets were many people's picks to win the Super Bowl. But in the first game, Testaverde ruptured his achilles tendon and missed the entire season. He came back to play two full seasons, making the playoffs in 2001.

    Injuries plagued him after that and he would return to the Jets in 2005 following one season with Bill Parcells and the Cowboys.

    He was always a fan favorite in East Rutherford and the Jets had some success with him over the years.

29. Aaron Glenn (1994-2001)

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    Aaron Glenn was the Jets first-round draft pick in 1994 as a cornerback out of Texas A&M. He played eight seasons with the team and was a steady member of the secondary.

    He made two Pro Bowls in 1997 and 1998. In only 13 games in 1998, Glenn intercepted six passes and his career-high in tackles was 58 in his rookie season.

    He would move on to join the newly founded Texans in 2002, but he made his mark as a Jets defensive back.

28. Larry Grantham (1960-1972)

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    Larry Grantham was an original member of the New York Titans, who would become the Jets in 1963. He was a fierce outside linebacker who was a big part of the Jets defense when they won Super Bowl III.

    Grantham was a five-time Pro Bowler and five-time First-Team All-Pro. He intercepted 24 career passes, while playing his entire 13 seasons with the Jets franchise. He's one of the greatest linebackers in team history.

27. Victor Green (1993-2001)

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    Victor Green was a Jets safety for nine seasons and started every game from 1996-2001. In 2003, he was named a member of the Jets Four-Decade Team as they've been around since 1963.

    Over a six-year span from 1995 to 2000, Green's interceptions increased by exactly one per-season. He had one in 1995 and six in 2000.

    In 1995 and 1996 he recorded over 100 tackles and had a great season in 1998 when the team came within a game of the Super Bowl.

    In 2006, he signed with the Jets so he could retire as a member of their team.

26. Kevin Mawae (1998-2005)

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    Kevin Mawae (number 68)

    Kevin Mawae was one of the greatest centers in team history. In eight seasons with the team, he made six consecutive Pro Bowls.

    He started every game from 1998-2004, but in his final season with the Jets, his streak of 177 straight games played came to an end. He suffered a triceps injury to his left arm and missed the rest of the 2005 season. The Jets cut him in the offseason, ending a marvelous stay with Gang Green.

    He helped their offense greatly and was a big reason for running back Curtis Martin's success. Mawae and Martin were on the team during the same eight-year period from 1998-2005 and were a part of the new-look Jets with Vinny Testaverde in 1998.

    Mawae has a shot at going into the Hall of Fame and if he does, it'd probably be as a Jet.

25. Al Toon (1985-1992)

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    Al Toon spent eight seasons in the NFL, all with the Jets as a wide receiver. He's most famous for being the only wide receiver selected ahead of Jerry Rice in the 1985 draft.

    He retired after only eight seasons after suffering at least nine concussions in his career, and although he didn't turn out to be as good as Rice, he wasn't terrible.

    In 1988, he led the league in receptions with 93 in his third and final Pro Bowl season. His career-high in receiving yards was in 1986—his first full season as a starter—with 1,176.

    He missed many games due to concussions and could never really play up to his full potential on a consistent basis.

24. Kyle Clifton (1984-1996)

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    Kyle Clifton was a linebacker for the Jets in all 13 years of his career. He was a dominant force at times and in 1988, he led the league with 199 tackles.

    In nine of his seasons, he recorded over 100 tackles and was a great defensive presence. He made one Pro Bowl team and finished his career with 1,484 tackles.

23. Bryan Thomas (2002-Present)

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    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Bryan Thomas is a current linebacker for the Jets and he's been with the team since 2002. In 2006, he led the team with 8.5 sacks and is in the middle of the Jets defense on almost every play.

    He was a Jets first-round draft pick in 2002 and has been consistently getting to the quarterback since. The Jets need to improve their blitz schemes this season, and if they will, Thomas will be in the middle of helping out.

    He's currently the second-longest tenured Jets player to Shaun Ellis. 

22. Richie Anderson (1993-2002)

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    Richie Anderson was a fullback for the Jets for 10 seasons after being drafted in 1993. His best season as a receiver was in 2000, when he caught 88 passes for 853 yards. It was his only Pro Bowl season.

    Anderson made some nice plays in his career, helping the Jets make a couple of playoff appearances.

21. Marvin Jones (1993-2003)

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    Marvin Jones (number 55)

    Marvin Jones was a Jets linebacker for 10 seasons and had some great years with the team. He finished his career with 1,200 tackles, the third highest total in team history.

    His career-high in tackles was in 2000 when he had 135. He was named a First-Team All-Pro that season, although he never made the Pro Bowl.

    In his final six seasons of his career—he spent his entire career with the Jets—he started every game. He finished his career with nine sacks and signed a one-day contract in 2004 with the Jets to retire as a member of their team.

20. Winston Hill (1963-1976)

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    Winston Hill was a dominant Jets offensive tackle for 13 seasons, having made eight Pro Bowls. He was a huge part of the Jets Super Bowl winning team, protecting Joe Namath and opening up holes for running backs.

    In Super Bowl III, Hill did a great job at the left tackle spot, allowing Matt Snell to gain 121 rushing yards and a touchdown, leading the Jets to the upset victory.

    He started 174 consecutive games, which is the 10th-longest string in football history. He has never been nominated for the Hall of Fame, but he is one of the greatest Jets in history.

19. Mo Lewis (1991-2003)

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    Mo Lewis was a dominant linebacker for the Jets, playing with them for all 13 seasons of his career. He played 200 games as a Jet, the third-most in franchise history, and started every game in 11 of his 13 seasons.

    He was a three-time Pro Bowler and one-time First-Team All-Pro. In 2000, he recorded 10 sacks and in 1994 he intercepted four passes for 106 yards, along with recording 103 tackles.

    He finished his career with 52.5 sacks and is best known for his hit on Patriots' quarterback Drew Bledsoe.

    In Week 2 of 2001, Lewis leveled Bledsoe on a hit when Bledsoe attempted to lower his shoulder. Bledsoe would suffer moderate internal bleeding and the rest was history. Tom Brady replaced him and never looked back.

    In 2005, Lewis signed a one-day contract to retire as a Jet.

18. Marvin Powell (1977-1985)

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    Marvin Powell was an offensive tackle for the Jets for nine seasons after being drafted fourth overall in 1977.

    He was a five-time Pro Bowler and three-time First-Team All-Pro. He spent his time helping running back Freeman McNeil find holes and was part of a couple playoff teams in the 1980s.

17. Jim Sweeney (1984-1994)

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    Jim Sweeney was a member of the Jets for the first 11 seasons of his career, playing three different positions, mostly center.

    In nine of his 11 seasons with the team, he started every game protecting a number of quarterbacks from Ken O'Brien to Browning Nagle to Boomer Esiason.

    He was one of the few centers in Jets history that presented solid consistency, starting the final 112 games in his tenure with Gang Green.

16. Mickey Shuler (1978-1989)

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    Mickey Shuler was a Jets tight end for 12 seasons and is tied for third on their all-time receptions list. He made two Pro Bowls and his best season was in 1985 when he caught 76 passes for 879 yards.

    He finished his career with 5,100 receiving yards and caught at least one reception in 86 straight games.

15. Marvin Washington (1989-1996)

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    Marvin Washington was a defensive end for the Jets and had some big seasons getting to the quarterback, specifically in 1992. That was his career season as he recorded 8.5 sacks and his second-most career tackles with 62.

    Washington played for the Jets for eight seasons from 1989-1996 during one of their darkest periods. They didn't finish with a winning record in any of those seasons and in his final season with them in 1996, they went 1-15.

    It wasn't Washington's fault though, as he did put up some big numbers on defense.

14. Randy Rasmussen (1967-1981)

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    Randy Rasmussen (number 66)

    Randy Rasmussen spent 15 seasons in the NFL, all with the Jets. He started in Super Bowl III for them at right tackle, although he was a left guard and only started seven games during the 1968 regular season.

    He was the final starting Jets player from the Super Bowl to retire, playing through the 1981 season. He played left guard every season and did a great job fighting off linebackers and opening holes for his running backs.

13. Wayne Chrebet (1995-2005)

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    Wayne Chrebet is one of the greatest wide receivers in Jets history, having ended his career short after numerous concussions.

    He was signed after going undrafted in 1995 out of Hofstra and made an immediate impact in his rookie season. In that 1995 season, Chrebet caught 66 passes for 726 yards.

    Throughout his career people felt he would be too small to play football, as he was only 5-10 and around 190 pounds. He proved people wrong though, playing through a bunch of concussions to finish second all-time in receptions with 580 and fifth all-time in receiving yards with 7,365 in Jets history.

    His best season was the Jets great season of 1998, when he caught 75 passes for 1,083 yards.

    Although Chrebet was never honored in his career, the Jets haven't handed out his number 80 jersey since he retired in 2005. He was only 32 at the time when he took a final blow to the head in a game in 2005.

12. Bill Mathis (1960-1969)

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    Bill Mathis (number 31)

    Bill Mathis was an original Jet and a good halfback, playing in every year of the 1960s including in Super Bowl III.

    In 1961, he led the league in carries with 202, rushing for a career-high 864 yards. During that fabulous season, Mathis broke a collarbone in the third week but didn't miss a single game all season.

    In 1967, he had his best receiving year, logginh career-highs in receptions with 25 and receiving yards with 429.

    He retired after the 1969 season at the age of 31.

11. Emerson Boozer (1966-1975)

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    Emerson Boozer was a running back and key member of the Jets Super Bowl III winning team. He played all 10 seasons of his career with the Jets and started at halfback in the Super Bowl.

    He was a two-time Pro Bowler and in 1967, Boozer scored 10 rushing touchdowns to lead the league. He only played in eight games that season and still led the AFL in TDs as he had 10 at the time of his devastating knee injury that altered his career.

    His biggest season in terms of yardage came in 1973 when he rushed for 831 yards. That season, he also gained 130 receiving yards.

    He turned out to have a fine career despite his knee injury and was a solid ball carrier.

10. Matt Snell (1964-1972)

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    Matt Snell was a Jets running back for seven seasons and was one of the heroes of Super Bowl III. In the game against the Baltimore Colts, Snell carried the ball 30 times for 121 yards and scored the only Super Bowl touchdown in Jets history.

    He was drafted third overall by the Jets in 1964 and made three Pro Bowls and one First-Team All-Pro.

    In his rookie season in 1964, Snell carried the ball 215 times for nearly 1,000 yards, which turned out to be his career year. His career-high in touchdowns was during his heroic season of 1968 when he ran for six.

    Knee injuries would slow Snell down and after 1969, he would only play in 12 games over his final three seasons. He retired after 1972 and to-date, has the only touchdown in Jets Super Bowl history and has all the yardage records for the only big game they've been to.

9. Wesley Walker (1977-1989)

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    Wesley Walker (dark shirt)

    Wesley Walker was a Jets wide receiver for all 13 seasons of his career and was a two-time Pro Bowler, despite being legally blind in one eye. He had a fine rookie season in 1977, catching 35 passes for 740 receiving yards.

    His huge year was the following season in 1978. He caught 48 passes for a whopping 1,169 yards to lead the league in a season he was selected First-Team All-Pro. In each of his first two seasons, Walker led the league in yards per reception.

    He would continue to have good seasons and once again broke the 1,000-yard mark in 1986. He retired after 1989 with 8,306 yards.

8. Freeman McNeil (1981-1992)

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    Freeman McNeil was a Jets running back for 12 seasons after being drafted third overall in 1981. He broke in from UCLA and put together a fine career, going to three Pro Bowls and being named First-Team All-Pro once.

    In 1982, McNeil led the league in rushing yards with 786—a season in which only nine games were played. In 1984 and 1985, he put together consecutive 1,000-plus yard seasons, eclipsing 1,300 in 1985.

    In each of McNeil's first two seasons, the Jets made the playoffs with him being the primary back. He finished his career having averaged at least four yards per carry in every season he played, which is a very rare feat.

    He currently ranks second in Jets history in rushing yards with 8,074.

7. Abdul Salaam (1976-1983)

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    Abdul Salaam was part of the New York Sack Exchange foursome in the early 1980s. They were a dominant defensive front-four on the Jets line that did nothing but sack the quarterback. Salaam only played eight seasons, retiring at the age of 30.

    The Jets made a couple of playoff appearances and one conference championship game with their nasty defense, and with the group he was on, that's what makes Salaam a top-10 Jet.

6. Marty Lyons (1979-1989)

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    Another member of the Sack Exchange, Marty Lyons was a Jet for 11 seasons after being drafted 14th overall in 1979.  From 1982-1989, he recorded 29 sacks, 7.5 of them coming in 1988.

    He was a hard-nosed defensive tackle and he's widely known for ending the career of Dwight Stephenson. Lyons badly hurt Stephenson's knee during a game against the Dolphins that ended the career of the Hall of Fame center.

    Lyons was just another member of arguably the fiercest defensive front line in NFL history.

5. Mark Gastineau (1979-1988)

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    Mark Gastineau, another member of the Sack Exchange, was perhaps the best defensive end in Jets history. Due to personal problems, he retired in the middle of the 1988 season at age 32, but he had already accomplished some things that had never been done before in NFL history.

    Before sacks became official in 1982, he recorded 20 of them in 1981. His effort in 1983 and 1984 was the greatest two-year span for any defensive end in league history.

    He recorded 19 sacks in 1983 and then set an NFL record with 22 in 1984. The record stood until Michael Strahan broke it with 22.5 in 2001 with the Giants.

    Gastineau finished his career with 107.5 career sacks and was selected to five Pro Bowls and was a three-time First-Team All-Pro.

4. Joe Klecko (1977-1987)

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    Joe Klecko is the fourth member of the Sack Exchange and is currently second to former teammate Mark Gastineau on the Jets all-time sack list. Klecko played 11 seasons with the Jets after only being a sixth-round draft choice in 1977.

    Since sacks became official in 1982, Klecko's career-high was 7.5 in 1985. He was a four-time Pro Bowler and two-time First-Team All-Pro.

    He was inducted into the Jets Ring of Honor in August of this year and as are the other three Sack Exchange members, he's an all-time great Jet.

3. Don Maynard (1960-1972)

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    Don Maynard is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and his number 13 is retired by the Jets. He spent 13 seasons with New York and was a part of the team's Super Bowl III championship.

    He was released by the New York Giants after his first season in 1958 and signed with the Jets when they were founded in 1960.

    In his first season with them, he caught 72 passes for 1,265 yards and in 1965, he teamed with rookie quarterback Joe Namath. He would lead the league that season in touchdowns caught with 14.

    In 1967, he led the league in receiving yards with 1,434 and finished his career with 11,834.

    He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987 as a member of the Jets, finishing as their greatest receiver in team history.

2. Curtis Martin (1998-2005)

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    Curtis Martin is one of the greatest running backs in NFL history and is the second-greatest Jet in history. After playing tremendous football for three seasons with the Patriots to start his career, Martin went on to give the Jets seven Hall of Fame seasons.

    He rushed for over 1,000 yards in every season of his career except his final one. He made three Pro Bowls with the Jets and was named a First-Team All-Pro in his career season of 2004.

    In the 10th and final full season of his career, he led the league in carries with 371 and rushing yards with 1,697.

    In 2005, Martin was attempting to become the first running back in history to start a career with 11 straight 1,000+ rushing yard seasons. He had 735 through the first 12 games, but a knee injury would end his season and ultimately his career.

    Martin was only 32 years old and had he stayed healthy, could've broke the all-time rushing yards mark. He's currently fourth on the all-time list with 14,101 rushing yards, as Emmitt Smith has the all-time record with 18,355. Without a doubt, he'll be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

1. Joe Namath (1965-1976)

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    Who else would be the greatest New York Jet in history? Can it be anyone other than Broadway Joe? Three days before Super Bowl III, he guaranteed his team would upset the Baltimore Colts by saying "We're gonna win the game. I guarantee it." Namath went out and backed his talk.

    He threw for 206 yards and with help from his running back, Matt Snell, the Jets won the Super Bowl and Namath was named the game's MVP. Receiver George Sauer also had a huge game, catching eight passes for 133 yards.

    Along with the famous guarantee, Namath was also a great quarterback for the Jets for 12 seasons. He led the league in passing yards in 1966, 1967, and 1972. In 1972 he also led the league with 19 touchdown passes.

    He finished his career with 27,663 passing yards and was a five-time Pro Bowler. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985 and is without debate, the greatest player in Jets history.