With free agency a little over 24 hours away, let’s continue with the countown. In case you have not been following, we have been counting down the top 10 free agent signings in Jets history. So far, we have talked about Alan Faneca, Bart Scott, Ty Law, and Tony Richardson. We have called it right down the middle, two offensive players, and two defensive players.
So whom are we going to choose next? Let’s give it to you. The number 6 all time free agent signing by the Jets is……………………..
We have had this discussion before, how do you quantify the value of an offensive lineman? However, when you at when Mawae came over from Seattle, it’s pretty evident why he is on this list. When your offensive line is good, everything else on the team looks good. This fact was no different in 1998 with the Jets.
In 1998, with 1,879 rushing yards, the Jets were 13th in the league in rushing yards. Yes, much of that change had to with Curtis Martn being acquired. In 1997, the Jets were 25th on this list, and Adrian Murrell barely made the 1,000 yard plateau.
Don’t worry, I am not naive to think that we could have beaten them wth Adrian Murrell. But, consider this, it’s not all Curtis’s doing.
The offense came together in 1998, with Curtis Martin running behind them. The Jets were the 5th highest scoring team in league. You have to give credit to the skilled players on this football team. But, when the scoring is executed this well, to a 12-4 record, we have to give credit to the guys up front as well. Curtis Martin ran for 8-100 yard games in 1998 en route to a 1,287 yard season. Vinny Testaverde was only sacked 19 times. This offensive line was excellent, and Kevin Mawae was the catalyst.
While with the Jets, Mawae went on to make the Pro Bowl 7 times, from 1999-2004. He was also voted to the All-Pro team, six of those times being with the Jets. He clearly was a dominant player with the team.
And a clear choice for number 6 on the countdown.