In this series, we’ll be highlighting a different player from the New York Jets’ storied past. Today, we take a look at quarterback Vinny Testaverde.
He may have spent 10 years in the NFL before joining the Jets, but Vinny Testaverde still left his mark on Gang Green history. The seven years he spent in New York were the most he played for one team in a pro career that spanned an incredible 21 seasons.
Testaverde landed with the Jets at the age of 35, having spent the previous decade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens. But while many could easily have expected Testaverde to be a washed-up veteran, he responded with the best season of his career in 1998.
The former Heisman Trophy winner from Miami threw for 3,256 yards, 29 touchdowns and just seven interceptions, earning his second Pro Bowl nod.
He would go on to post his best record as a starting quarterback during his time with the Jets (35-26), and despite starting just 65 games in New York, Testaverde still left a strong impression on the team’s record books. His 12,497 passing yards and 77 passing touchdowns both rank fifth in franchise history to this day.
He finished his career with a series of one-year stints (Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, Carolina Panthers), including a season-long return to the Jets after just one season away. In 2007, even at the age of 44, he still made six starts for the Panthers in what would be his final season in the NFL.
The pro football journey was a long, winding road for Testaverde, but he spent the most time, and had the most success, with the Jets. He’s earned his rightful place among the most memorable quarterbacks in team history.