In this series, we’ll be highlighting a different player from the New York Jets’ storied past. Today, we take a look at running back Curtis Martin.
One of the most durable, reliable and consistent running backs in the history of the NFL, Martin was somewhat of an afterthought on draft weekend back in 1995, when the New England Patriots selected the former Pitt Panther in the third round.
If given the gift of hindsight, it’s highly doubtful 73 players would still be chosen ahead of him if the league was given a do-over.
Martin wasted little time making a splash in the NFL, averaging more than 1,200 yards rushing in each of his three seasons with the Patriots. But while he made his initial mark with a division rival, it was in New York where Martin would cement his legacy as one of the best backs in league history.
He would spent the final eight seasons of his 11-year NFL career with the Jets, and his 10,302 rushing yards and 58 rushing touchdowns still stand as the most in franchise history. He was voted to five Pro Bowls, and proved himself an ageless wonder by leading the league with 1,697 rushing yards in 2004 at 31 years old.
Martin rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of his first 10 seasons in the NFL, falling just short in his 11th and final season, finishing with 735 yards over 12 games.
Martin’s 14,101 career rushing yards still rank No. 5 in NFL history, trailing only Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton, Barry Sanders and Frank Gore.
In 2012, Martin was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He is now one of 15 players enshrined in Canton after spending at least part of their career with the Jets.