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Projecting three future Hall of Famers for the New York Jets

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Projecting three future Hall of Famers for the New York Jets

The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s class of 2024 will officially be inducted on Aug. 3.

With less than a month until the annual event in Canton, Ohio, we’re examining which players — past and present — on the league’s 32 teams we think will one day receive a similar honor. 

Here are three New York Jets who should eventually receive football immortality: 

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers 

Although Rodgers has played just four snaps as a Jet, he firmly established himself as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time during his 18-year career with the Green Bay Packers. The Super Bowl XLV champion and 10-time Pro Bowler has won four league MVP Awards, the second-most behind Hall of Famer Peyton Manning.

Rodgers only has one Super Bowl title under his “Discount Double Check” belt, but it’s impossible to deny that he’s one of the most talented passers ever. The 40-year-old has led the NFL in seemingly every major passing category at least once. Rodgers was the league’s leading passer four times (2011, 2012, 2020, 2021), the NFL passing touchdown leader twice (2016 and 2020) and the leader in completion rate during the 2020 season.

Overall, Rodgers, the career leader in touchdown to interceptions ratio (4.52), has thrown for the ninth-most yards (59,055) and the fifth-most touchdowns (475) in NFL history. According to Pro Football Reference’s Hall of Fame Monitor scoring, Rodgers’ combination of stats and accolades places him as the third greatest quarterback of all time, trailing Manning and Tom Brady.

Rodgers still has two seasons remaining on his current deal, and if he decides to call it quits then, he’ll surely be inducted as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2031. 

Left tackle Tyron Smith

While Smith is yet to suit up for the Jets, he has a good chance of becoming a first-ballot Hall of Famer once he becomes eligible for enshrinement. Smith signed a one-year deal with New York earlier this offseason after spending 13 seasons as a franchise cornerstone for the Dallas Cowboys.

With Dallas, the 33-year-old was considered one of, if not the best, left tackle in the league. Smith started all 161 games he played in, surrendering just 29 sacks across 6,302 pass-blocking snaps, according to Pro Football Focus. Additionally, Smith earned eight Pro Bowl nods, five All-Pro selections (two first-team and three second-team) and was named to the NFL 2010s All-Decade team as a Cowboy.

Injuries have plagued Smith in the back end of his career, as he’s played in just 30 games over the last two seasons. Even so, he’s still one of the NFL’s better left tackles entering the 2024 season after allowing just one sack in 13 games last year. 

All Smith’s resume is missing is a Super Bowl, so if he can help the Jets capture the Lombardi Trophy, he’d undoubtedly be considered one of the greatest left tackles of all time.

Center Nick Mangold

One of the greatest players in franchise history, Mangold, a first-round pick in the 2006 NFL Draft, spent his entire 11-year career with the Jets, who inducted him into their Ring of Honor in 2022. The Ohio State product played in 164 games, the 12th-most in Jets history, allowing just 13 sacks and 14 QB hits in that span.

The best years of Mangold’s career were from 2009 through 2011 when the seven-time Pro Bowler was named a first-team All-Pro selection twice while making the All-Pro second-team once.

Last September, Mangold was named one of the 173 modern-era nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2024. However, Mangold will have to wait at least another year before he can earn a Hall of Fame induction since he was not named one of the 25 modern-era semifinalists last November. 

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