In this series, we’ll be highlighting a different player from the storied past of the New York Jets. Today, we take a look at running back Matt Snell.
One of the most prolific running backs in Jets history, Matt Snell was a key member of the famous Gang Green squad that took home a historic victory in Super Bowl III.
Despite being chosen in the fourth round of the 1964 NFL draft, Snell opted to join the Jets, who picked him No. 3 overall in the AFL draft the same year. He made an immediate impact with a career year in his rookie season, earning his first of three Pro Bowl nods after rushing for 948 yards and five touchdowns. He also added 393 yards and another touchdown on 56 receptions that season, showing off the versatility that would be a hallmark of his NFL career.
Snell would make the Pro Bowl again in 1966, and would earn both Pro Bowl honors and his only first-team All-Pro selection in 1969.
A true member of the Gang Green, Snell spent all nine years of his NFL career with the Jets, appearing in 86 games and making 75 starts. He still ranks No. 4 in franchise history with 4,285 career rushing yards, trailing only Freeman McNeil, Emerson Boozer and Hall of Famer Curtis Martin.
Snell’s great nephew, Kentucky running back Matt Snell, was selected in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
While Snell’s relationship with the team eventually ended up on the rocks, Jets fans everywhere still have a special place in their heart for one of the best running backs their franchise has ever seen.