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Joe Klecko Named a Finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Green Bay Packers v New York Jets Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Getty Images

Jets great Joe Klecko is one step closer to enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Klecko was one of three players selected by the Seniors Committee to advance to the final step in the selection process.

Klecko played every position – defensive end, defensive tackle and nose guard – across the defensive line for the New York Jets (1977-1987) and Indianapolis Colts (1988) and was selected to at least one Pro Bowl at each spot. He was a member of the “New York Sack Exchange” teams, making four Pro Bowls overall and earning two first-team All-Pro honors – once at defensive end and once at nose guard – in his 12-year NFL career. In one of those All-Pro seasons, 1981, Klecko (at defensive end) recorded 20.5 sacks and finished second in the AP’s Defensive Player of the Year voting. He totaled 78 sacks in his career.

“You made my day; that’s for sure,” Klecko, now age 68 and eligible for 30 years, said in a congratulatory phone call from Porter. “I’ve had too many of them ‘no’ phone calls, and to get this one with a ‘yes’ is just absolutely exciting. … It’s a great time in the Klecko house.”

Klecko, Howley, and Riley will be inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2023 if they receive 80% approval in up-down votes.