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NY Jets: Remembering each member of the New York Sack Exchange

NY Jets, Joe Klecko, Marty Lyons, Abdul Salaam, Mark Gastineau
NY Jets, Joe Klecko, Marty Lyons, Abdul Salaam, Mark Gastineau / Ronald C. Modra/Getty Images
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NY Jets, Abdul Salaam
NY Jets, Abdul Salaam / Focus On Sport/Getty Images

Abdul Salaam, DT, NY Jets

Abdul Salaam was drafted in the seventh round of the 1976 NFL Draft. Originally named Larry Faulk, he changed his name in 1977 to Abdul Salaam (Soldier of Peace) as the massive defensive tackle was looking for more serenity in his life.

Salaam played his college football at Kent State University and was both a nose guard and a defensive end. He earned first-team All-Mid-American Conference honors for three straight years.

In 1975, the Jets had given up the most yards per carry in the NFL and drafted Salaam with the intention of stabilizing a weak defensive line. Salaam played for the Jets from 1976 to 1983. He played in a total of 97 games and started 85 of them.

For his career, Salaam had four fumble recoveries and is credited officially with 2.5 sacks. However, prior to 1982 when sacks were not an official statistic, Salaam had several more. In 1981 alone, he had seven sacks for the season.

Salaam called football "a game of survival" and even though his gritty style of play went somewhat unnoticed, his physicality allowed other members of the Sack Exchange to flourish.

Salaam was traded to the San Diego Chargers in 1984 but, due to injuries, never played in a game for the team. He now lives in Cincinnati and in 2013 he retired from the city's school district as both a football coach and an officer.

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