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Jets History: George Sauer Was One of the Top Receivers in the AFL

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

As we approach the season, we are going to count down the history of Jets jersey numbers along with some of the notable players to wear each number. Today we will look at number 83.

One thing that has surprised me during the early stages of the countdown is how few numbers have had no good players. That trend continues with a trio of Jets who have worn number 83.

The top 83 for the Jets is George Sauer. He was a receiver for the Super Bowl III Champions and in many ways Robin to Don Maynard's Batman. Sauer was a four-time Pro Bowler and twice an All Pro. In 1967, he led the AFL in receptions. Maynard was second. A year later when the Jets won the championship, Sauer was second in the league in catches. In Super Bowl III, Sauer set a record with 133 receiving yards that would stand for seven more years.

The second number 83 was Jerome Barkum, a tight end and wide receiver who spent eleven seasons with the team. A first round pick out of Jackson State in 1972, Barkum's best season came in 1973 when he finished sixth in the league in receiving yardage and made the Pro Bowl.

The third 83 was Santana Moss. The Jets traded up to draft him out of Miami in 2001. He was an explosive punt retunrer who went over the 1,000 yard mark in 2003 with 10 touchdowns. After 2004, the Jets traded the speedy deep threat to Washington to reacquire Laveranues Coles. Moss went onto play for Washington for a productive ten seasons.