10. Eric Smith, S, NY Jets
Eric Smith played for the Jets from 2006 to 2012 and was a versatile safety who excelled in coverage and against the run. His ability to contribute in both aspects of the game made him a valuable asset to the Jets defense. Smith's consistency and reliability in the secondary solidify his place among the top safeties in franchise history.
Smith played his entire seven-season career with the Jets, finishing with 96 games and 36 starts. Drafted in the third round of the 2006 NFL Draft, it's safe to say Smith left his mark on the team.
Despite never making a Pro Bowl, Smith made many contributions across his career with the Jets. In his seven seasons, Smith finished with six interceptions, 27 passes defended, four fumble recoveries, 308 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, and 10 quarterback hits.
Playing both strong and free safety during his career, as well as lining up in the slot or at cornerback, Smith truly displayed a lot of versatility which explains his stat-stuffing contributions. Smith, a lifelong Jet, is a great place to begin our list.
9. Darrol Ray, S, NY Jets
Darrol Ray played for the Jets from 1980 to 1984 and was known for his ball-hawking skills and playmaking ability. His ability to read quarterbacks and make interceptions provided a spark for the Jets' defense. Ray's impact on the field, particularly in creating turnovers, earns him recognition as one of the top safeties in Jets' history.
Ray was another lifelong Jet, playing all five professional seasons with the team before retiring after the 1984 season. In those five seasons, Ray played in 72 games, starting 69 of them.
Ray finished his career with 21 interceptions with the Jets, tied for ninth in Jets history. He also added three interceptions returned for touchdowns during his Jets career as well. Ray also forced three fumbles and recovered five, and returned one for a score, further proof of his "ball-hawk" status.
Ray played before tackles were officially counted as a stat, and only the last few years with sacks as a counted stat, making it impossible to compare him to others on the list who played more recently.
Nonetheless, his sheer ability to find the ball, and the endzone, on defense makes him an automatic qualifier as a top safety in team history.