Left unprotected, the Jets' starting cornerbacks Aaron Glenn and Marcus Coleman exited stage left after they were chosen during the Houston Texans' expansion draft in 2002.
New York would fill that void through free agency shortly thereafter by signing veteran Aaron Beasley. Having played the previous six seasons with Jacksonville, he brought 76 games with 71 starts of experience to the Jets.
"I didn't look at myself as coming to replace someone, I was just coming to play football," Beasley said. "I wanted the opportunity to play under a former defensive back, being that Herm Edwards was there (as the head coach). I grew up an Eagles fan (the team Edwards played for), and with the Eagles and Jets wearing green, it was one of those things."
With 279 combined tackles and 15 interceptions, two which were returned for touchdowns, as a Jaguar, Beasley stepped into the Jets' starting lineup and proceeded to do his job very well.
"It wasn't like I had to come there and be some vocal leader when we already tiers of leadership with Mo (Lewis) and Marvin (Jones), and on the other side of the ball with Vinny (Testaverde)," Beasley said. "I just came in there and worked hard. That was my way of leading."
At 9-7 that season, the Jets won their division for the first time in five years, and for only the fourth time in the franchise's history.
"The way we came together as a team, I don't think people realize how we had so many different pieces come together through free agency and from different systems," Beasley said. "It's hard to play with guys that you just met.
"But learning from each other, and then the way that we turned it around, we started 2-4, and as a group, we just were embarrassed. We started doing things extra, watching film extra. I feel like it was pride and putting your name on the back of your jersey and going out there and representing. Winning the division, that was exciting."
During his time in New York, Beasley began to take notice and become impressed with the Green & White's faithful.
"I would say the level of passion for a Jets fan is unrivaled," Beasley said. "Because, think about it, haven't won a Super Bowl (in 50-plus years). Had Tom Brady and we've got (Bill) Belichick in the division, so it hasn't been the most successful seasons. But when I come up to a game and I'm walking through the parking lot, it's like win or lose, the fans, the passion, it's just unrivaled."
With the Jets for two seasons, Beasley played and started in 31 games, collecting five interceptions and 128 combined tackles. Concluding his nine years in the league, triple the average length of a player's career, with the Atlanta Falcons in 2004, what makes Beasley most proud of his time in the NFL?
"Just making it," he said. "I didn't have any scholarships out of high school. I had to go post-grad. I wasn't a four-star, a five-star (recruit). I didn't run the fastest 40. But I made it to the NFL because I dreamed it, I willed it to happen. I pushed it so hard.
"And sometimes I look back, and I kind of take it for granted. But I'm like, man, I played nine years in the NFL and didn't even have a scholarship offer to the level I wanted to attain."
The Founder and CEO of the Athletic Business Alliance, Beasley leans on his past as means to advise athletes about their future.
"Just because of what I've been through, like losing money and making money, starting businesses and not being successful in businesses, knowing both sides, what I'm trying to do is help younger athletes or student-athletes focus on some of those things at an earlier age," Beasley said. "Some people may not make it, but at least you start planning and using your network to help guide you into a career that you love.
"I mentor whoever, but it's mainly football players just because I do some training. And a lot of the guys that I train, I try to help guide them whether it's on the field or off the field. High school, college, I train some NFL players, all levels.
"It's fun because I've got guys that I've been training probably since they were in the sixth grade and now they're juniors and seniors and are getting (college scholarship) offers. To see the development is pretty fun because I always think that I can't play anymore, but I can live vicariously through them."
Living in South Jersey, Beasley and his wife, Umme, the gymnastics head coach at Rutgers University, have three daughters: Amirah, Dahlia and Layla. And besides the Athletic Business Alliance and training athletes, he is also the CEO of another company – The XR Life.
"What we're doing is virtual reality content," Beasley said. "We're doing things that people don't get to experience. (For example), I do a lot of golf events with the NFL Alumni and so what it does is it gives them the opportunity to actually feel like they're at the event with us. It's virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality production and platform."