As the years have gone on, it's seemed less and less likely that Klecko would one day be enshrined in the walls of Canton, OH. However, there may still be some hope left for the four-time Pro Bowler.
The NFL announced 54 semifinalists in the "seniors, coaches, and contributors" category for the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2023, and Klecko was among those listed.
While the odds are still long that Klecko makes his way to the Hall of Fame, this is yet another opportunity for the voters and selection committee to reevaluate the lasting legacy of the Jets legend.
Could NY Jets legend Joe Klecko finally make the Hall of Fame in 2023?
25 players were among those 54 semifinalists including former stars like running back Roger Craig, quarterback Ken Anderson, and cornerback Lester Hayes.
The Hall of Fame selection committees will vote on 12 seniors and 12 coaches/contributors who will advance to the finalists stage. Those results will be announced later this month on July 27.
The committee will then decide on up to three finalists to receive final consideration for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and those players will be announced on August 16.
Again, it remains unlikely that Klecko is able to advance through all stages of the selection process to earn Hall of Fame recognition, but it's hard to argue he doesn't deserve it.
Klecko changed the game during his time with the Jets earning four Pro Bowl nods, multiple All-Pro honors, and the 1981 Defensive Player of the Year award. He was named an All-Pro at multiple positions on the defensive line and led the NFL in sacks as a defensive tackle.
Injuries prevented Klecko from reaching the heights he might have, but few defensive players in that era could match the former Temple Owl at his peak. He was and forever will be one of the greatest Jets of all time.
His exclusion from the Hall of Fame has remained a hot topic amongst Jets fans and many consider Klecko to be one of Canton's most notable snubs.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee has a chance to correct history and honor one of the greatest defensive linemen of all time. Joe Klecko will receive another chance at glory this summer.