A “Tuna” officially came to town that date. This was the time of the real beginning of the problems between the Jets and the Patriots, with the battle commencing over Bill Parcells. Eight days earlier, on February 3rd, the Jets hired Bill Belichick as head coach, and Parcells as a consultant, which caused the Patriots to complain to the league because Bill Parcells was under contract with them.
February 10th, then commissioner Paul Tagliabue brokered a compensation package between the two teams. The deal that allowed Parcells to coach immediately called for the Jets to send the Patriots their third and fourth round picks in 1997, a second rounder in 1998, and their first round in 1999.
In return, on February 11th, 1997, the Jets were able to hold a press conference to announce Bill Parcells as their 11th head coach in team history, taking over for Rich Kotite and his four wins over the previous two seasons.
We all know what happened from there, the Jets went from 1 to 9 to 12 wins in just two years, and the rivalry between the Jets and the Patriots took on epic proportions.
All beginning this date 16 years ago.