The Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018 was recently inducted, however, there were no former New York Jets included. Who will be the next Jet that gets the call?
Another season of the NFL has unofficially kicked off this weekend as the 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame Class will be inducted into the hall on Saturday night. Last year’s class included two Pro Football Hall of Fame players that made pit stops in New York; defensive end Jason Taylor who spent most of his career playing for the Miami Dolphins and running back LaDainian Tomlinson who spent most of his career playing for the San Diego Chargers. However, this year’s class does not include any players that played for the green and white.
In this slideshow, I will examine four Jets legends that are the most likely to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame someday. There are two former Jets that have been eligible for induction for over two decades in defensive linemen Joe Klecko and Mark Gastineau. Both were part of the “Sack Exchange” that wrecked quarterbacks for a number of years. Then there are three members of the Jets that helped bring the team much success during the late 2000’s and early 2010’s; cornerback Darrelle Revis and offensive linemen Nick Mangold.
There is much debate of which Jets legend will be the next one to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I will detail each player listed above on why they should be inducted and hopefully create even more interesting debates on which Jets legend is better than the rest among other Jets fans. Please leave any comments below on who your favorite Jets legend is and why they should be the next one inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Joe Klecko Defensive Lineman New York Jets 1977-1987
Joe Klecko was a part of a fierce New York Jets defensive line during the 1970’s and 1980’s. He was a vital part of the New York “Sack Exchange” from 1979-1983. The other members of the group were Mark Gastineau, Marty Lyons, and Abdul Salaam.
Unfortunately, I am only 27-years-old and was not around during Klecko’s career but from the highlights, I have watched and the stories I have heard, he was an absolute monster of a defensive lineman. Klecko has a long list of accomplishments and accolades that are too good not to mention.
Klecko is a four-time Pro Bowl selection (1981, 1983-1985) and a two-time All-Pro selection (1981, 1985). He is the only player in NFL history to be selected to the Pro Bowl at three different positions, defensive end, defensive tackle, and nose tackle.
There have been numerous conversations and debates about Klecko getting inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame over the past two decades. The Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee should reevaluate Klecko’s resume and come to appreciate his value to the Jets organization and in all of professional football.
Next: Mark Gastineau
Mark Gastineau Defensive Lineman New York Jets 1979-1988
Mark Gastineau was all of these players built into one during his career for the Jets. He was a pass rusher extraordinaire that struck fear into all offensive lines he went up against. The NFL did not officially start recording sacks until 1982 and when they did start counting them, Gastineau was at the top of the list.
Gastineau led the NFL in sacks in 1983 with 19 and in 1984 with 22 which was a record that stood until 2002 when New York Giants defensive lineman Michael Strahan broke the record with 22.5. Gastineau was arguably the best defensive player in the NFL from 1981-1985.
Gastineau was a five-time Pro Bowl selection (1981-1985) and a three-time All-Pro selection (1982-1984). He has been recognized by several media organizations as one of the best pass rushers/players ever. He was named one of the Top 10 Pass Rushers ever by NFL Network and was named to Pro Football Reference 2nd team All-1980’s Team.
Gastineau is a pioneer and role model for guys like Miller, Watt, and Donald who are currently wreaking havoc in the NFL right now as pass rushers. Gastineau is more than worthy of earning a spot into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Next: Darrelle Revis
Darrelle Revis Cornerback New York Jets 2007-2012 New York Jets 2015-2016
Darrelle Revis, aka Revis Island.
One of the greatest players, arguably the greatest, to ever play for the Jets. Revis was the true definition of a game changer and a shutdown cornerback. Revis announced his retirement from the NFL back in July.
More from The Jet Press
- NY Jets Mock Offseason: Re-signings, free agents, mock draft, and UDFAs
- NY Jets: 3 free agent kickers to target in the 2021 offseason
- NY Jets: Christian Hackenberg lands local high school coaching job
- NY Jets: Chris Simms says Zach Wilson is ‘clearly the No. 1 quarterback’
- NY Jets ‘will answer’ trade calls about QB Sam Darnold, per Joe Douglas
Revis was a vital part of the Jets elite defenses in 2009 and 2010 under the coaching of former head coach Rex Ryan. Revis helped bring the Jets to back-to-back AFC Championship games against the Indianapolis Colts and Pittsburgh Steelers respectively. Unfortunately for Jets fans, Revis was finally able to win a Super Bowl but it was with the rival New England Patriots in 2014. He then returned to play two more seasons for the Jets in 2015 and 2016.
Revis is one of the greatest defensive players ever and has the awards to prove it. He was a seven-time Pro Bowl selection (2008-2011, 2013-2015) and a four-time First-Team All-Pro selection (2009-2011, 2014). Revis recorded 29 interceptions and 140 pass defenses during his career with 25 interceptions and 112 pass defenses coming just from his time with the Jets.
According to Pro Football Focus, Revis recorded the highest overall grade in 2009 since PFF started grading players in 2006. Revis had an overall grade of 96.6 that is still the highest grade ever given out.
Next: Nick Mangold
Nick Mangold Center New York Jets 2006-2017
Nick Mangold was the leader and cornerstone of the Jets offensive line for a decade. He helped protect quarterbacks Chad Pennington, Mark Sanchez, and Ryan Fitzpatrick who all enjoyed some type of success during their time with the team. Mangold was a vital part in helping teach Sanchez about facing different types of defenses and calling out signals at the line. The Mangold and Sanchez combination helped lead the Jets to the back-to-back AFC Championship Games in 2009 and 2010.
Mangold was a seven-time Pro Bowl selection (2008-2011, 2013-2015) and two time First Team All-Pro selection (2009-2010). Mangold played in 164 games and only missed 12 games during career, with eight coming in his final season.
Mangold retired back in April and stressed that all he ever wanted to be was a good teammate and a good leader according to an article written by Rich Cimini of ESPN:
In my 11 years as a Jet, there were plenty of ups and downs but, through it all, I wanted to be the Steady Eddie. I wanted to be the guy that other guys looked at to see how it was done. I learned this attribute from the vets that I played with.
I am sure every Jets fan that ever got to watch Mangold play can agree he was the “Steady Eddie” for the Jets offensive line. There may never be another Nick Mangold for the Jets; a “Steady Eddie” cornerstone center that will control everything at the line of scrimmage.