NFL

New York Jets’ Mount Rushmore

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Although the New York Jets have only taken home one Lombardi Trophy, they are an iconic franchise thanks to Hall of Famer Joe Namath and the first publicized sports “guarantee.”

Although New York hasn’t hosted a parade for the Jets in over four decades, they have had some pretty tremendous football players.  We’re going to now look at the four greatest players in team history.

Joe Namath – It would be a crime for me to start this off with anyone else other than Joe Namath himself.

When looking at Namath’s numbers, you may wonder why he’s so highly regarded, but you must take into account the era in which he played in. Back in Namath’s day, teams weren’t tossing the ball around the lot like they do today.

Namath was the first quarterback to throw for 4,000 yards in the 14-game 1967 season. Considering the rules about how defensive backs could basically mug wide receivers, it’s quite the accomplishment.

“Broadway Joe” was truly the first media superstar because of his swagger and charisma. The guy was just easy to adore.

Throughout his 12-year career in New York, Namath was named AFL MVP twice, made the AFL All-Star Game four times and appeared in his lone Pro Bowl game in 1972.

The former Alabama product led the league in passing yards three times, while leading in touchdown passes during the ’72 campaign.

Nonetheless, the moment Namath will always be known for first is his Super Bowl III guarantee against the Baltimore Colts, which just so happens to be the only championship in Jets history.

Don Maynard – Before this franchise became the Jets, they were the New York Titans.

Wide receiver Don Manyard was a member of the Titans for three seasons and then he spent the next 10 seasons as a member of the Jets.

Similar to Namath, Manyard’s numbers won’t jump out at you, but there’s no denying the impact he had during his playing days.

Maynard was a winner.

He helped contribute to an AFL championship and Super Bowl championship.

Not to mention, Manyard was a four-time AFL all-star, two-time first-team All-AFL and he’s a member of the AFL All-Time Team.

Curtis Martin – Here’s a name most will be familiar with.

Back in 1995, Curtis Martin was selected with the 74th overall pick in the third round of the NFL Draft. The University of Pittsburgh product didn’t have super high expectations out of college, however, he ended up being the best running back in the history of the franchise.

Martin was drafted by the New England Patriots, but after spending three seasons in Foxborough, Martin took his talents to New York where he became a legend.

During his nine seasons in as a Jet, Martin rushed for over 1,000 yards every season except for his last one in 2005. Martin reached the Pro Bowl three times, while being named a first-team All-Pro twice.

In 2004, Martin led the league in rushing with 1,697 yards.

Martin’s number 28 jersey is retired.

Darrelle Revis – ‘Revis Island’.

What more needs to be said?

The ultimate dream for a cornerback is to have an island named after you, so when you accomplish that feat, you’re obviously very good at what you do.

Revis was selected with the 14th-overall pick in the 2007 draft and he hasn’t disappointed one bit.

In his first six seasons in New York, Revis reached the Pro Bowl three times, while earning All-Pro honors three times. Oh yeah, Revis was also named AFC Defensive Player of the Year in 2009.

During that 2009 season, Revis defended 31 passes to go along with six interceptions and a touchdown.

However, following the 2012 season, Revis bolted to Tampa Bay and then went on to win a Super Bowl title in New England in 2014.

Revis is back where it all started and although he may have lost a step he’s still considered one of, if not the best cornerbacks in football.  When his playing days are over, the outspoken businessman will be a first ballot Hall of Famer.


About Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels is an NFL columnist for Football Insiders. He has several years of experience covering the NFL and NCAA football. He's the radio color commentator for Lincoln University football. Mark's work has been featured on Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports and Yard Barker.