- Signed by Jets as an undrafted free agent in 1995
- Member of New York Jets Ring of Honor
- 2005 Ed Block Courage Award recipient
- 152 career games played w/Jets
We’re down to the final three and the last of the four undrafted free agents on this list in longtime Jets great Wayne Chrebet. There may be no player more beloved in Jets history than Chrebet, as his underdog persona resonated with the average fan watching from home.
A local Hofstra product, Chrebet was never given a fair chance to succeed from the get-go, not receiving really any NFL interest to speak of due to his 5-foot-10 stature. After a failed tryout with the Canadian Football League, the New Jersey kid earned a tryout with the Jets who still trained at his former campus in Hofstra at the time.
Despite entering training camp ranked 11th out of 11 receivers on the team’s wide receiver depth chart, Chrebet managed to make the 53-man roster against all odds. From there, Chrebet would only continue to prove his doubters wrong.
The future Hofstra University Athletic Hall of Famer would finish each of his first eight NFL seasons with at least 45 receptions and 600 receiving yards, including a 726-yard rookie campaign. His most productive season came in 1998 when the then-25-year-old hauled in 75 grabs for 1,083 yards and eight touchdowns.
Chrebet became the 14th individual to be entered into the New York Jets Ring of Honor in 2014. Although his No. 80 jersey has not officially been retired, it has not been worn by any member of the team since his retirement.
In many ways, Chrebet revolutionized how the NFL looks at undersized slot receivers. Players such as Wes Welker and Julian Edelman have since enjoyed similar success in recent years, but Chrebet managed to make his mark first.
Chrebet will forever be admired by Jets fans who saw the scrappy underdog develop from an undersized NFL longshot to a legitimate Jets legend. As such, he remains one of the most successful free agent signings in team history.
Next: No. 2