The Jets have announced plans to hold a vote in July to determine the franchise's all-time team, leading to a parade at one of the home games later this season. We'll have plenty of coverage leading up to and in reaction to the vote.
From the discussions we've been having on the site, two main factors that will likely affect the vote are recency bias and longevity. No doubt when the team is selected, we shall see recent players making the team ahead of more deserving players from the past that the voting public simply isn't aware of. Also, how do you weigh up the worthiness of a guy who was great for a few years up against a guy who was good for a much longer period of time?
The ultimate example here is probably at the guard position, where two of the main candidates could be Alan Faneca and Randy Rasmussen. Faneca was great for the Jets in 2008 and 2009 as they had one of the league's best rushing attacks and two winning seasons. However, he spent 11 of his 13 seasons (and enjoyed seven of his nine pro bowl years) elsewhere - mostly in Pittsburgh. Contrast that with Rasmussen, who never went to a pro bowl but was called "Mr Jet" following a 15-year career that spanned the Super Bowl III and Sack Exchange eras.
Who is more worthy in such a situation? We'll let the voting public decide. Today, however, let's give recognition to guys who were great Jets, but for not very long.
In order to qualify, you can only have played in a maximum of four seasons as a Jet. You can have multiple stints with the team, as long as they don't fall into five separate seasons (Justin Miller would be an example of this).
One other rule: Current players don't count. So Jamal Adams wouldn't qualify even though he's only played two seasons. And even if a guy has since left the Jets, they still can't qualify if they're still in the league. So Ryan Fitzpatrick can't make the team, but Josh McCown can.
We're not saying that none of the players on this team can make the all-time team, but what we are saying is that there's probably an alternative with a much larger body of work as a Jet.
We're about to go down and you know just what to do...
Controversy already reigns as we go with Brett Favre as our choice for the quarterback role. Favre was a pro bowler in his only season as a Jet, although he played poorly down the stretch and the Jets lost four of their last five to miss out on the postseason. Six of Favre's 22 touchdowns came in a wacky shootout win over the Cardinals and he ended up with 22 interceptions as well.
Also considered: Boomer Esiason's first season as a Jet also saw him go to the Pro Bowl, arguably in more impressive fashion than Favre. His other two seasons were poor though, as he only won seven other games. McCown was also considered.
Despite his frustrating tendency to break down at the end of every season, Thomas Jones is the obvious choice here. He rushed for over a thousand yards in each of his three seasons as a Jet, going to the pro bowl in 2008 with over 1,400 yards. He set then-team records with 15 total touchdowns in 2008 and 14 rushing touchdowns in 2009.
Also considered: There were multiple options here too. Johnny Johnson's two years as a Jet saw him rack up 1,752 rushing yards and 109 pass receptions. Shonn Greene had two thousand-yard seasons and also rushed for 502 yards and three touchdowns in six postseason games. Chris Ivory had three solid years, with one thousand-yard season and a pro bowl.
One player who played a big part in Jones' success was full back Tony Richardson. Richardson was already a 13-year veteran with three pro bowl appearances to his name when he joined the Jets in 2008 and played his final three seasons with the team. He even averaged 5.7 yards per carry as an occasional dive option.
Also considered: Roger Vick is regarded as one of the biggest Jets draft busts because who drafts a full back in the first round anyway? Still, in terms of statistical production, he did have his moments with 1,700 yards from scrimmage in three years and 11 touchdowns including a memorable game winner in Miami.
In a battle of former first round busts, let's give the edge to Kyle Brady here. The former first round pick caught just 93 passes in four seasons, but had 10 touchdowns and was a valuable contributor as a blocker.
Also considered: Much like Vick, Johnny Mitchell failed to live up to his potential but did generate some good statistical production. Mitchell caught 158 passes in four seasons, including 16 touchdowns, with 58 for 749 yards in his best year (1994). Unlike Brady, he didn't last much longer after the Jets got rid of him. Mark Boyer, who caught 40 passes in the first of his three years as a Jet, was also considered.
While his exit was acrimonious, Brandon Marshall put together a record-setting 2015 season which is enough to warrant his inclusion on this list. Marshall set team records for receptions and receiving yards, as well as tying the record for touchdown receptions. However, Keyshawn Johnson was the most impressive Jets receiver with a four-year-or-less tenure. He led the Jets in receiving three times, went to two pro bowls, had two thousand yard seasons and put together one of the best postseason performances in team history against the Jags in 1998.
Also considered: This was a hotly-contested position with the likes of Eric Decker, Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes all warranting consideration, along with the ultimate one-year cameo in Hall of Famer Art Monk.
When the Jets signed Damien Woody to a big-money deal in 2008, it was an insane risk. The former pro bowl interior lineman had just half a season of experience at the tackle position, but the Jets opted to give the 30-year old a five-year deal. Over the next three years he was one of the best tackles in the NFL, although his season-ending injury in 2010 hurt the Jets' postseason chances. We're paring him with Kareem McKenzie, who was a three-year starter whose departure led directly to the Adrian Jones/Anthony Clement debacle that fed into the Woody gamble. It's not immediately clear who would play on the left, but we'll let our head coach (Pete Carroll obviously) sort that out.
Also considered: Ryan Young established himself as one of the best young starting tackles in the league before departing in the expansion draft. Austin Howard also gave the Jets two solid years.
There are a lot of candidates here, led of course by Alan Faneca, whose credentials we already discussed above. Let's go old school to find the other guard. Bob Mischak played for the team during the first three years in franchise history, back when they were the Titans of New York. He was an AFL all-star or all-pro in each of those three seasons.
Also considered: A ton of candidates here, including Willie Colon, Randy Thomas and Dave Szott. Of the three, Thomas started 61 games during his first four seasons. The other two joined the Jets at the end of their careers.
This was a difficult spot to fill because the Jets have had the luxury of this position being filled by a long-term option throughout most of their history. However, we're going to bend the rules slightly and put Pete Kendall there. Kendall's three seasons as a Jet saw him mostly at left guard, but he started 10 games at center for the Jets in 2005 when Kevin Mawae got injured. Woody could probably play there in a pinch too.
Also considered: If not for Kendall, we might have had to go with another guard that is capable of playing the center position, such as Matt Slauson or Jonathan Goodwin. Wayne Mulligan arguably has a better case though, as he started 26 games at center in 1974 and 1975.
We'll have the defensive team for you within the next few days
Let us know in the comments where we went wrong. Should we have chosen one of the other options? Did we neglect to mention anyone?