On this date in New York Jets history, Bill Parcells executed a move that changed the franchise forever.

Throwback Thursday: March 20th, 1998

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It’s time for this week’s edition of “Throwback Thursday”. For this week’s installment, we go back to 16 years ago today. It may not be a day that sticks out in your minds, but it was a date that changed the Jets franchise forever, and kicked an already intense rivalry into high gear.

Bill Parcells had just come off of his first season as head coach of the New York Jets. He had taken the Jets from a 1-15 record to 9-7, nearly making the playoffs. In that off-season, there was a player that Bill always cared about, even though he was now down here with New York. When that player became a restricted free agent, and his agent called the Jets to gauge interest, there would be no turning Parcells away. He was going to get his man.

The Jets created an offer sheet which had what was known as a poison pill. The contract was for five years, $28 million, with a team option for a sixth year that brought the deal to $36 million. The “poison pill”, was the player’s ability to void the deal after one year, prohibited the use of the franchise tag.

The Patriots valued this player, but not to the point where they could risk letting him go and receiving nothing in return. So, he was allowed to go to the Jets, and the Patriots received the Jets’ first and third round picks in the 1998 draft. And the rest was history for both teams.

Who am I talking about?

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I am talking about the great Curtis Martin. We know what he meant to the Jets, and how the rivalry took on a new gear after he changed teams.

So, happy Curtis Martin signing day!

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