Football is a violent and physical game which can take a toll on a player’s body over the course of his career. This is the reason why the average career of a football player is 3.3 years. Whether it is because of injury or the sheer competitiveness of the game, not many players have long careers in football.
While it is highly unlikely to see football players play for more than 19 years, it is also somewhat of a surprise to see a player stay with one team his entire career. With free agency and trades, players are always on the move.
The franchise record for seasons spent with the Jets belongs to placekicker Pat Leahy who played for the Jets for 18 seasons (from 1974 until 1991). Placekickers have the longest shelf-life of NFL players and one would think that this position would give the best shot at breaking Pat Leahy’s record in the future. A problem with this assumption is that the position of placekicker has been something of a revolving door the past ten years for the Jets. Five different kickers have played for the Jets in that time. They include John Hall, Doug Brien, Mike Nugent, Jay Feely and Nick Folk.
Mark Sanchez can make a run at the record entering his third season with the Jets at age 24, but he would have to play for the Jets into his late 30s. It is possible but not very likely.
Players just don’t spend that many years playing for one team anymore. And if they do, there is always the threat of injury.