This article also appeared in the New York Jets Special Advertising Supplement that was published in Thursday's New York Daily News.
The next six months are shaping up to be a series of Gold Jacket and Green Letter days around the New York Jets.
To start, three of the Jets' former stars — center Nick Mangold, tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson and cornerback Darrelle Revis — will have their names added to the team's Ring of Honor at MetLife Stadium during the 2022 NFL season.
Come winter, versatile and impactful defensive lineman Joe Klecko is likely to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a Seniors Finalist in the January vote by the Hall's full Selection Committee. Also at that time, Revis could score an awards exacta since he could also be inducted into the Canton, OH shrine in his first year of eligibility.
Canton, Here They Come
Klecko played 11 seasons for the Jets, staking out a notable and unusual distinction -- he was the rare defensive lineman who excelled as an end, tackle and nose tackle. The native of Chester, PA, who also won two NCAA club boxing titles at Temple University in the heavyweight division, was a two-time All-Pro. He led the NFL with 20.5 sacks in 1981, when the stat was unofficial. (Sacks became an official league statistic in 1982.)
The charter member of the New York Sack Exchange (along with Mark Gastineau, Marty Lyons and Abdul Salaam) is within whistling distance of a place in the Hall, needing at least 80 percent of the votes among the 49-member voting panel before Super Bowl LVII. Klecko is one of three Senior Finalists along with Bengals CB Ken Riley and Cowboys LB Chuck Howley.
"Playing in New York is one of the greatest things you can do," Klecko said at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. "Winning in New York is the next best thing. I remember when we were the Sack Exchange and we were doing this photo shoot down at Wall Street and we drove down there and we turned the corner and it was mobs of people."
Among Klecko's accomplishments: He is second in total sacks in franchise history with 78 (Gastineau has 107.5), he received recognition as NFL Defensive Player in 1981 in leading the Jets to the playoffs for the first time since 1969; and he is one of the only players in league history to earn selection to the Pro Bowl at three different positions.
"I've learned not to get excited about anything unless the check is in the bank," Klecko said. "Until then, I'm going to maintain my civility about this and live my normal life."
For Revis, the superstar cornerback from Pittsburgh is vying to join the 86 players (among a total of 362) inducted into the Hall of Fame in their first years of eligibility. In his eight seasons with the Jets, Revis Island became the fictional black hole toward which most NFL quarterbacks avoided sending spiraling footballs (see more below).
Ring of Honor Class of 2022
The induction of Mangold, Ferguson and Revis into the Ring of Honor at MetLife Stadium will bring the number of Jets honorees to 21. Each of the three will be recognized during separate home games in the first three months of the 2022 season: Mangold at halftime on Sept. 21, when the Jets host the Bengals; Ferguson at the game on Oct. 30 against the Patriots; and Revis on Nov. 27 when the Green & White take on the Bears.
The trio played together from 2007-12 and were part of the foundation that helped the Jets advance to the AFC Championship Games at the end of the 2009 and 2010 seasons. Mangold and Ferguson were first-round selections in the 2006 NFL Draft and earned accolades during their long careers on the offensive line. In a nod to the team's defense, Revis came to the Jets as the No. 14 overall pick in the 2007 draft.
Nick Mangold — The steady, hirsute center drafted No. 29 overall out of Ohio State was named to seven Pro Bowls, one fewer than the Jets' all-star-game record holder, tackle Winston Hill, who is a member of the Hall of Fame and the Ring of Honor. Mangold, in his first decade with the Jets, started and played in 163 of the team's 167 games (regular and postseason) from 2006-15. He was also named All-Pro twice during his Jets career.
D'Brickashaw Ferguson — Ferguson grew up in Jets Country in Freeport on Long Island before deciding to play in college at Virginia. Taken fourth overall by the Jets in 2006, Ferguson incredibly did not miss a game (167 starts in 167 games) during his NFL career and played all but one offensive snap (10,755 of 10,756). His durability and tenacity provided a security blanket for Jets quarterbacks as he protected their left, or the blindside of a right-handed passer. Ferguson was named to three Pro Bowls and earned the start in two of those games.
Darrelle Revis — Revis, in his time with the Green & White (he also played for Tampa Bay, New England and Kansas City), snatched 25 interceptions and defensed 112 passes, including a whopping 31 PDs in 2009 — the most by any NFL player in a season since the stat began to be tracked in 1994. Also during his time with the Jets, Revis was named to the Pro Bowl five times and to the All-Pro First Team three times and won two Curtis Martin Team MVP Awards.