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NY Jets legend Joe Klecko finally expected to make the Hall of Fame

NY Jets, Joe Klecko
NY Jets, Joe Klecko / Focus On Sport/GettyImages
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Good things come to those who wait, at least that's what the age-old expression would indicate. For NY Jets legend Joe Klecko, decades of waiting are seemingly about to finally pay off.

On Wednesday, Klecko was officially named as one of three senior finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2023 alongside former Cowboys linebacker Chuck Howley and former Bengals cornerback Ken Riley.

The Selection Committee will meet again in January, and if Klecko receives 80 percent of the votes, he will officially be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2023.

Per multiple reports, the next step is considered to be a "formality" for Klecko, Howley, and Riley with the three all but guaranteed a spot in the Hall of Fame after today's decision.

Again, we won't know until January, but all indications are that Klecko is finally on his way to Canton.

NY Jets legend Joe Klecko finally recognized for his historic career

Long considered to be one of the greatest defensive players of his era, Klecko was named to four Pro Bowls, three All-Pro teams, won Defensive Player of the Year in 1981, and has his No. 73 retired by the Jets organization.

However, to this point, a Hall of Fame ring has alluded his resume. The Pennsylvania native made the Pro Bowl at three different positions (defensive end, defensive tackle, and nose tackle) throughout his career, but found himself a victim of semantics.

Because sacks didn't become an officially recognized statistic until 1982 — the year after Klecko racked up a historic 20.5 sacks — Klecko was listed as only having 24.0 sacks in his career.

Combine that with the fact that he was sometimes overshadowed by the larger-than-life Mark Gastineau and you have a player who is among the most notable Hall of Fame snubs in football history.

There's even an entire section on his Wikipedia page entitled "Hall of Fame credentials." Klecko's Hall of Fame pedigree isn't a secret to Jets fans who have long rallied for his inclusion in the prestigious walls of Canton, OH.

Now, for the first time since he was first eligible for the honor some 30 years ago, Klecko is on Canton's doorstep.

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One of the Hall of Fame's most egregious omissions is set to finally receive his due. Joe Klecko is (most likely) on his way to Canton.

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