The New York Titans joined the AFL in 1960 before becoming the New York Jets three years later. They have had many players come in and out of the locker room over the years, so narrowing it down to five is no easy task.

Yes, even the Jets have had some all time greats. The Jets are still searching for their first playoff appearance since 2010 and first Super Bowl title since Super Bowl III in 1969. New York is hoping that their next great player is either on their current roster or coming soon in the future.

It is important to look at career numbers, Hall of Fame status, and longevity with the Jets when narrowing down their five greatest players. Here are the top players to ever wear the green and white.

Jets legends

5. Mark Gastineau, DE

Gastineau was a wizard at getting to the quarterback. He is widely regarded as the best defensive end in Jets history. He is the team’s all time sack leader with 74 sacks. In the year before sacks became an official stat, Gastineau racked up 20 of them.

From 1981-1986, Gastineau was named to five straight Pro Bowls. He was also named First Team All-Pro three times and turned in one of the all time great two year stretches. In 1983, Gastineau led the league with 19 sacks. The very next year, he set the all time sack record with 22. This record stood until 2001 when it was broken by Michael Strahan.

Gastineau was not happy about his record being broken the way it happened. Strahan set the record by sacking Green Bay Packers quarterback Breet Favre on a play where it looked like Favre laid down for him. Regardless, Gastineau’s work on the edge cannot be forgotten and it will not be by Jets’ fans.

There is no doubt that Gastineau should be in the Hall of Fame. His career sack number would be much higher if he played his entire career with sacks being an official stat.

4. Joe Klecko, DL

The Jets got a sixth-round steal in 1977 when they landed Klecko. He is a member of the Sack Exchange and currently second on the all time sacks list in Jets’ history.

Sacks did not become an official stat until 1982. Klecko turned in a career-high 7.5 in 1985 when he was named First Team All-Pro as a nose tackle. Klecko’s versatility was extremely unique. Klecko could play any position on the defensive line and he showed that throughout his career. He was a Pro Bowler four times and received the honor at right defensive end, left defensive end, and nose tackle.

Klecko is currently enshrined in the Jets’ Ring of Honor. It is a crime that Klecko has not been enshrined in Canton. He is one of the top defensive lineman of his generation and one of the best Jets of all time.

3. Don Maynard, WR

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Maynard was part of the original Titans’ team in 1960. He spent 13 years with the franchise and left in 1972. He is still the best receiver to ever wear a Jets’ uniform even 48 years later.

In his first season with the Jets, Maynard finished with 72 catches for 1,265 yards and seven touchdowns. When Namath came around in 1965, the duo connected immediately. During Namath’s rookie year, Maynard led the NFL with 14 touchdowns.

Maynard was a big part of the Jets’ Super Bowl championship squad. The four-time Pro Bowler was an All Pro selection in 1969. Maynard led the league in receiving in 1968 with 1,434 yards and finished his career with 11,834 total.

Maynard is the Jets’ all time leading receiver with 11,732 yards as a member of the franchise. He leads the rest of the pass catchers by over 3,000 yards. It will be difficult for Maynard’s records to be reached by any Jet. Nothing is impossible, but Maynard has been the best receiver in Jets’ history for a long time and that does not seem like it will change anytime soon.

2. Curtis Martin, RB

Martin is one of the best running backs to ever play the game and is without a doubt one of the most underrated. He began his career with the New England Patriots. After three years in Foxborough, he spent eight years in the backfield for the Jets.

Martin came to New York and wasted no time becoming the team’s workhorse. He carried the ball 300 or more times eight times in 10 years. In 2004 at 31 years old, Martin turned in a career year. He was named First Team All-Pro after leading the league in carries, rushing yards, and touches. Martin carried the ball 371 times for 1,697 yards and 12 touchdowns. He totaled 412 touches on the year.

In 2005, Martin played his last season with the Jets at just 32 years of age. He suffered a knee injury which cut his season short with 735 rushing yards. Martin would have become the first runner ever to begin his career with 11 straight seasons over 1,000 yards.

Martin is currently sixth on the all time rushing list with 14,101 yards. If his career was not cut short, Martin could be the all time rushing leader.

1. Joe Namath, QB

There is no surprise who No. 1 on this list was going to be. Broadway Joe played the most important position on the field for the Jets for 12 seasons.

Namath led the Jets to their only Super Bowl victory over the Baltimore Colts. He guaranteed victory in the week before and backed up his big prediction. Namath threw for 206 yards in Super Bowl III and was named MVP. During his time in the league, Namath was one of the top at his position.

In 1965, Namath burst onto the scene and was a Pro Bowler in his rookie season. He went on to be named to four more Pro Bowls and was a First Team All-Pro member in 1968. Namath led the league in passing yards three times and touchdowns once. In 1967, Namath became the first quarterback in football history to throw for 4,000 yards in a season.

Namath ended his career with 27,663 passing yards and 173 touchdowns. He was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1985 and is still considered one of the most entertaining figures to ever play the game.