Ranking all 33 foreign-born players in NY Jets history

From Vlad Ducasse to Tim Tebow (yes, really), we ranked EVERY foreign-born player to play for the Jets
NY Jets, Nathan Shepherd
NY Jets, Nathan Shepherd / Sarah Stier/GettyImages
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27. Toni Linhart, K, NY Jets

  • Country of Birth: Austria
  • Jets playing career: 1979

We've reached the second of two kickers the Jets signed in the 1979 season to replace the injured Pat Leahy. Toni Linhart, one of only seven Austria-born players in NFL history, was signed to replace Rich Szaro after his poor Week 7 performance.

Linhart would stick around a little longer, appearing in five total games, but it didn't go much better. The former Baltimore Colts kicker made just 3-of-6 field-goal attempts and missed three extra-point tries before he was released.

Linhart directly contributed to multiple Jets losses, but at least he recorded stats and made a few kicks. That 1979 season was a disaster for the Jets' kicking unit.

26. Hayden Smith, TE, NY Jets

  • Country of Birth: Australia
  • Jets playing career: 2012

A former rugby star, the Australian-born Hayden Smith decided to give American football a try in 2012, and he was signed to a deal by the Jets. Smith didn't survive roster cuts, but he spent the year on the practice squad and went on to appear in five games.

The 6-foot-6 Smith recorded his only career NFL catch in a Week 16 loss to the San Diego Chargers, a designed throwback screen that resulted in a 16-yard gain for the big man.

Smith was released the following summer and returned to rugby shortly after. His Jets career was brief but memorable and helped open the door for future rugby-to-NFL converts.

25. Obum Gwacham, OLB, NY Jets

  • Country of Birth: Nigeria
  • Jets playing career: 2017

Born in Nigeria, Obum Gwacham was a sixth-round pick of the Seattle Seahawks in the 2015 NFL Draft. Gwacham never appeared in a game for Seattle, instead finding a temporary home in New Orleans, where he played 10 games over two years with the Saints.

The Lagos native was signed by the Jets in the middle of the 2017 season, and he would go on to appear in five games as a rotational edge rusher and special-teams regular.

Gwacham recorded two tackles in his brief Jets career and played 110 total snaps (22 of which were on defense). He's since had stints in the AAF, XFL, and CFL.