There are 96 days until the opening Sunday of the NFL calendar. If you're a 'soccer' fan you have the World Cup to take up almost half of that, if not there is the NHL finals (lets go Rangers!) and the NBA finals (no idea) and the rest of the MLB season.
However in a fun little exercise, I thought I would look at former Jets who wore the #96, as we're 96 days away. I would love to commit to do this daily, but right now I'll say I'll pop one of these up every now and again.
2011 - Present - Muhammad Wilkerson
What a way to start this series, a look at arguably our best player. A New Jersey native, Wilkerson was selected 30th overall in 2011. He has become of of the most rounded players in the NFL, dominating on the line and affective in pass rushing situations. He has improved year on year culminating in a 10.5 sack season in 2013. Most fans expect him to take yet another step in 2014, and hopefully if he does he can finally earn the respect he deserves.
2011 - Martin Tevaseu
I don't actually remember Martin wearing this number, for some reason I always remembered him wearing 95. However apparently he was 96. Martin never really got started with the Jets, he did appear in 5 games in 2011 but his contributions were minimal. He did go un-drafted in 2010 before being picked up by Cleveland, before moving to the Jets and now residing on the Colts roster
2007 - 2008 - David Bowens
David has put together a very solid career, and although he was only with the Jets for two years I have fond memories of him. He has totalled 298 tackles, 38.5 sacks and 8 FF's over the course of his 13 year career. He last played for the Browns in 2010. Although he was never a starter with the Jets, he did total 6.5 sacks in the two years he was a member of the team.
2005 - 2006 - Dave Ball
Does anyone remember Dave Ball, the defensive end from UCLA, drafted in the 5th round by the San Diego Chargers. He played one year with the Jets and did absolutely nothing. I barely remember him. He did play with the Titans between 2008-2012 but he hasn't played football since. A former Pac-10 defensive player of the year, he never quite did it did he!
2004 - Daleroy Stewart
Boy has this number gone through the mud before reaching Mo. A 6th round selection by the Dallas Cowboys he played sparingly before being released. We picked him up and he saw action in just one game before he was let go. He ended a poor NFL career by turning to the Arena Football League. Not exactly a marquee name for Jets fans to remember.
2001 - Tom Barndt
Tom actually ended his career with the Jets. He had a couple of decent years with the Chiefs in the late 90's before heading to New York via Cincinnati. Unfortunately for Tom it didn't really work out with the Jets, he played in 6 games starting just one and failed to make any contribution to the team. He never played in the NFL again after his one year stint with the team.
1996 - Jeff Faulkner
Jeff is another late round selection who bounced around the league before heading to New York and then out to the Arena Football League. Again he did absolutely nothing with the Jets, only appearing in four games and making absolutely no contribution to the stat sheet.
1991 - 1994 - Mark Gunn
Gunn was a 4th round selection by the New York Jets and while he hardly lit New York up at least he made a contribution to the team, even if it was a small one. He returned to New York in 1996 but quickly retired and left professional football. Thanks for the.....ummm.....memories.
1989-1990 - Ron Stallworth
Another 4th round selection for the Jets, Ron only played two years in the NFL, both with the Jets. He didn't blow away people from the get-go but with 3 sacks in his first 2 years, he could have played on. However he became a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch, so I imagine he's doing just fine.
1988 - Steve Hammond
Information on this man is scarce, however according to pro football reference he played two games with the Jets and that's the extent of his story in the NFL.
1987 - Henry Walls
Again the information on Walls is very limited, apparently he played 3 games with the Jets and that's absolutely it.
As you can see, the history of number 96 is extremely poor. A mix of terrible players and guys who stuck in the league for less than 3 years. Muhammed Wilkerson has resurrected the number and made it his own. Thank god for Mo, otherwise this number would be challenging for worst in franchise history.