Welcome to the second installment of Old Past their Prime New York Jets. The New York Jets are notorious for signing Future Hall of Famers past their primes. Prime meaning, the best point in their career. This is the second out of five-part series and will be worth it. Chances are you maybe have forgotten about these players. Anyways, enough chitter chat, let’s get started!
List of Players:
#1, RB LaDainian Tomlinson: LT one of the greatest running backs of all-time. He was a legendary running-back in his time with the San Diego Chargers. He was drafted at 5th overall and surely lived up to his draft position. When he became a free agent for the first time in his career, he made it clear that he still felt like he had lots of gas left in the tank. So let’s have at it again, after becoming a 5x Pro-Bowler, 3x First-Team All-Pro, 1x NFL MVP, 1x NFL OPOY, 1x Walter Payton Award Winner, and a member of the NFL 2000s All-Decade team he signed with the NY Jets. Woo hoo! Yet, he wasn’t the best in New York but delivered for Gang Green. He had a 900+ yard rushing season in year one. Keep in mind; he shared most of his touches with Shonn Greene, who had a 1k+ yard season that same year. In year two, he significantly regressed but still kept passing records. By the time, he retired he was 5th in all-time rushing yards. He signed a ceremonial contract with SD to retire and had his number retired with him. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2017, well deserved. I wish we had him in his prime. He was so good.
#2, CB/S Ronnie Lott: Ronnie Lott, oh boy! Lott is one of the greatest defensive-backs of all-time. Absolute animal, BEAST! This guy was catching interceptions without realizing he lost a finger. So after being a beast in SF, he went on to play with the Raiders. Then he became a free agent. So yet, again here we go, after becoming a 4x SB Champ, 10x Pro-Bowler, 8x First-Team All-Pro, and being on the NFL 1980s All-Decade team decided to sign with the NY Jets. We’ve seen this before. Lott wasn’t terrible with the Jets but wasn’t comparable to how he played in his time with San Francisco. He had two mediocre years with the Jets then went onto be a free agent yet again. He sustained a couple of injuries, so then decided to call it a career and retired. It’s just disappointing and makes you think what if he was on my Jets during his prime. History would be different. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000, well deserved.
#3, S Steve Atwater: Yet, again another Hall Of Famer. Atwater, just like Ronnie Lott, is one of the greatest defensive-backs of all-time. Many people forget about Atwater in NY because it was a very forgettable time. He’s best known as a Denver Bronco legend. He won two Super Bowls in his time in Denver. He kept recording phenomenal stats in his time in Denver. SO let us have at it again, after becoming a 2x Super Bowl Champ, 8x Pro-Bowler, and 2x First-Team All-Pro, he decided to sign with the NY Jets. But, he was terrible with Gang Green. He had recorded career-low stats all around that year. His time in NY was awful. He then signed a one-day contract with Denver and retired because he bleeds orange and blue. He’s a Bronco, not a Jet. He was chosen to be apart of the 2020 Hall Of Fame class but hasn’t been officially inducted due to COVID-19. But, he deserves to be in the HOF. I wish we had him in his prime.
This has been the second installment of Ole’ Past their Prime New York Jets, and I hope you’ve enjoyed it. Three more articles are coming your way on this topic. These articles may make you think; we could’ve/should’ve/would’ve won if we had these guys in their primes. It’s sad, but great times are coming for us New York Jets fanatics. This has been Jose Calderon III with FiveBoroughDispatch; have a great day, everybody!