Honorable Mention: Pass rushers have always been hot commodities for the Jets. Shaun Ellis and John Abraham both recorded multiple double digit sack seasons with the Jets. Ring of Honor lineman Dennis Byrd recorded 27 sacks in his first 3 seasons before a life-threatening injury in 1992. But who can forget the New York Sack Exchange, which recorded 66 sacks in 1981, led in part by the next person on the countdown...
The Number Seven New York Jet of All-Time:
In 1979 the Jets chose Defensive End Mark Gastineau to augment a line that already featured Abdul Salaam, Joe Klecko and rookie lineman Marty Lyons. Together they formed an infamous defensive line known as the New York Sack Exchange. With Gastineau rushing the passer from the edge, the results were immediate and devastating for opposing QBs.
From 1981 to 1985, Gastineau was selected to 5 Pro Bowls and 5 All-Pro titles, winning back-to-back sack titles in '83 and '84 - a feat matched only by Reggie White. In those 5 years, Gastineau was perhaps the most dominant pass rusher in NFL history not named Deacon Jones. His 22.0 sacks in 1984 stood as an NFL record for nearly 20 years before being *cough* broken by Michael Strahan in 2001.
Another claim to fame for Gastineau was his creation of the "Sack Dance," a move that endeared him to some Jets fans and demonized him to everyone else. He famously got in a massive brawl with Rams lineman Jackie Slater in 1983. To this day, many players that sack the QB imitate Gastineau's routine with personal variations.
Unfortunately, the legacy of Gastineau has been tarnished by his consistent run-ins with the law, during and after his time as a Jet. Among his negative "accomplishments" are: An arrest for assault before the 1983 season, a famous late hit on Bernie Kosar in the 1986 Playoffs that cost the Jets a trip to the AFC Championship Game, crossed the picket line during the 1987 strike, a very public marriage to Brigitte Nielsen, and an abrupt retirement in 1988.
Gastineau ended his career with the Jets due to injuries, run-ins with the law and his own douchebaggery, but is still remembered fondly by some of the most die-hard Jets fans.
So why does Gastineau get ranked ahead of Revis? Well, many people said the same things about Gastineau being the GOAT as his position when he played that they do about Revis now. Only time will tell if Revis can become the player he once was, let alone become Hall of Fame worthy. But as far as being a great Jet is concerned, Gastineau played a huge role in helping the Jets get to the Playoffs 4 times in his career.
In an age of great pass rushers - Lawrence Taylor, Reggie White, the 1985 Bears, and even Joe Klecko - Gastineau stood out as one of the truly elite. He remains the Jets all-time leading sacker, and spent his entire career with the Jets. Gastineau tried in his own unique way to make defense fun - it hurt his legacy and certainly ended his Hall of Fame endeavors, but ultimately Gastineau is respected by many as one of the best players to ever play defense for the Jets. He was rightfully added to the Jets Ring of Honor is 2012, and interestingly enough, his jersey #99 has become synonymous with pass rushers.
Next: Only 2 players from the original New York Titans roster made the countdown, which one comes in at Number Six?