2010. It was only seven years ago, but it may as well be a lifetime.
In 2010 the Jets were riding high. They had a promising young quarterback, perhaps the best offensive line in the NFL, a punishing ground game, and one of the best cornerbacks to ever play the game anchoring one of the best defenses in the NFL. The Jets vanquished their hated rivals, the New England Patriots, in the playoffs and made Tom Brady look ordinary in the process. They beat Brady and Peyton Manning back to back in the playoffs, and came within a whisker of making it three straight future Hall of Fame quarterbacks when their furious comeback in the AFC Championship Game against Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers fell just short. It would not have been a surprise if the Jets had won the Super Bowl in 2010, which in itself seems surreal these days.
That was less than seven short years ago. It seems so much longer. Since then the Jets have had just one winning season and zero playoff appearances. The promising young quarterback fizzled, fumbled and failed. The offensive line slowly crumbled and was not replenished. The great cornerback succumbed to age and injury, and the defense went from great to pitiful. In the last seven years the Jets have had six different starting quarterbacks, five offensive coordinators, four defensive coordinators, three general managers, and two head coaches.
Today the Jets released David Harris, the one remaining starter from that time so recent yet so long ago when the Jets were legitimate Super Bowl contenders. David Harris led the New York Jets in tackles in 2010. Harris led the team in tackles in 2012. And 2013. And 2014. And 2015. And 2016. In these last seven years Harris has missed a grand total of one game. He was the quiet, steady tackle machine that held the Jets together in good times and bad. Now Harris' Jets career is over, and the Jets are less for it.
Seven years and a descent from one of the best rosters in the NFL to one of the worst. Countless changes. Now there is only one holdover from the 2010 Jets. His name is Tanner Purdum, and no other player has ever played a snap as the Jets long snapper since 2010. Purdum is the last remaining tie to the heady waning days of the prior decade. The last tie to playoff football. Purdum is the last man standing from 2010. It seems so much longer than seven years ago.