Ever since the great days of the Joe Namath to Don Maynard connection in 1969, the Jets haven’t been able to keep a duo like that on the same team. At least, not on their team. Joe Namath is most-definitely the first biggest superstar the NY Jets have ever had. After him, the Jets haven’t had success in resigning potential all-time greats or superstar players. It’s either due to money, coaching changes, wasted draft picks, or losing so consistently. After you read this article, you will be astonished about how much talent the Jets missed out on. And for Jet fans, it’ll be yet another heartbreak. However, since the Cubs won the World Series in 2016 after a 107 year drought, the Jets misery can’t last forever.
List of Players:
#1: CB Darrelle Revis: The Legendary Defensive Back, drafted 14th in the 2007 NFL Draft by the NY Jets. Revis, in his first three years, made an impact that some people can’t comprehend. In 2009, he held Andre Johnson, Randy Moss (twice), Terrell Owens (twice), Steve Smith, Torry Holt, Reggie Wayne, and Chad Ochocinco (Chad Johnson) all under 35 yards in one game. He had a great year and broke most records. Many had felt that he could’ve arguably been the DPOY award winner. We went on to have great years until 2012 when he tore his ACL and played only two games. Instead of signing Revis to a long-term deal, the Jets traded him to Tampa for a 13th overall pick (Sheldon Richardson, DT). In the same draft, they selected Dee Milliner as a replacement, as most know he was a draft bust. After signing a six-year, $96M contract, he was released by the Bucs and signed by the Patriots. They won a Super Bowl that year, and then Revis decided to join the Jets again, but he wasn’t the same. They should’ve just paid him in his prime. You keep players!
#2: RB John Riggins: The great John Riggins, drafted sixth overall. The Jets managed to keep him from 1971-1975 but then left to the Washington Redskins in 1976. Then went on to win Super Bowl XVII, he was also the Super Bowl MVP. Riggins is also Hall Of Famer, not because of his accomplishments as a NY Jet but as a Washington Redskin. In his case, he left due to money issues. The Redskins offered him a five-year, $1.5M contract, which was a lot of money in those days compared to the puny $63,000 the NY Jets were paying him. They knew he was gifted; they didn’t want to pay him and Riggins went to Washington and ran his way to the Hall Of Fame. Ah, these Jets.
#3: WR Keyshawn Johnson: While Keyshawn wasn’t precisely a “Superstar” for the NY Jets, he was a great receiver to have on your team and went on to be successful on his next team. With the first overall pick in the 1996 NFL Draft, the New York Jets selected WR Keyshawn Johnson. He had the potential to be great and was good for the Jets. He was a two-time pro bowler with the Jets. He didn’t like the direction the team was heading since Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick resigned as Head Coach, so yet again it was time to trade a great player. They traded him to Tampa in exchange for two first-round picks (Edge, John Abraham, and TE, Anthony Becht) in the 2000 NFL draft. He went on to be the highest-paid and a Super Bowl Champion in Tampa. The rest is history. Yet, again the Jets messed that up with trading players away. Abraham is also on this list, so you’ll know how this will end with him. Becht ended up being just an ok player. He was a better blocker than catching a ball as a tight end.
#4: Edge John Abraham: As previously stated, John Abraham was drafted 13th to the NY Jets in the 2000 NFL Draft. From the second he played his first snap, he proved himself to be the best edge rusher on the field. In his second year, where he was fully healthy, he had 13 sacks. He had injury issues, but when he was healthy, he was producing 10+ sacks per year. Sadly like usual, the Jets didn’t want to pay a load full of cash to a linebacker that didn’t fit the new 3-4 defense that new head coach, Eric Mangini, brought in. So he was traded to the Atlanta Falcons in exchange for a first-round pick (Future Hall of Fame OL Nick Mangold) that the Falcons received from Denver. Abraham went on to become an animal with getting a career-high 16.5 sacks in 2008. Yet, he didn’t win a Super Bowl but made multiple Pro Bowls and All-Pro teams. Ever since the Jets haven’t had an elite edge rusher since Abraham, he has certainly been missed.
#5: SS Jamal Adams: As everyone knows in the 2017 NFL Draft, the NY Jets selected Jamal Adams with the sixth overall pick. Jamal had an impressive rookie campaign and showed that there was light at the end of the tunnel. He gave spirit to our team and gave us excitement. He went on to have back to back All-Pro and Pro-Bowl appearances. He has requested a trade and is in turmoil thus far with the NY Jets. We’ll see if he’s paid the insane amount he wants or is traded for a bag of chips. Hopefully, he’s not another could’ve or would’ve case with the NY Jets.
As marketed, this is only a part one to a two-part series on players that the Jets couldn’t keep. There will be another afterward on coaches and front office members we lost. This could be a lengthy series, but it’s worth the read. This has been Jose Calderon III with FiveBoroughDispatch; have a great day, everybody!