Wayne Chrebet, Al Toon
Jet X Graphic, Getty Images

The dominant Al Toon and inspiring Wayne Chrebet contrast in many ways, but which wideout had the better New York Jets career?

Robby Sabo

One man entered the league as a top-10 pick. The other entered while scratching and clawing his way against terrible odds. One man stood 6-foot-4 while the other was granted a 5-foot-10 status (if the program director was feeling generous). One man had the ability to attack the ball at its high point while the other made a living in the slot and in the soft spots on third down.

Despite the tremendous differences, surprisingly, Al Toon and Wayne Chrebet share incredible similarities.

For instance, Toon was never a straight-line burner. His 4.65 forty-yard-dash speed would absolutely compare better with Chrebet’s unknown mark than a Calvin Johnson. There’s each player’s ranking in New York Jets history. One wideout sits third all-time in yards and touchdowns while the other is right behind him in the four-spot (yards). And, of course, there’s the way both players exited the stadium the final time.

On Nov. 27, 1992, Toon opted to retire in-season in the wake of what he initially thought was his fifth concussion. (It was later revealed he had suffered nine.) He later revealed how easy a decision it turned out to be.

“The decision wasn’t difficult when I had all the information,” Toon told FOX Sports in a recent interview. “I just felt blessed to have the opportunity to play the game for as long as I did.”

During the Summer of 2006, No. 80 retired for the same reason. A 3rd-down catch against the San Diego Chargers on Nov. 6, 2005, proved to be Chrebet’s last play as a Jet and his last concussion. The Garfield, NJ native suffered at least six concussions throughout his 11-year career.

“When you play football,” he adds, “you know what you are doing. It’s a violent game. It’s controlled violence. If you don’t want to get hit, don’t play football. There’s a chance you are going to get hurt. It’s just how it is. I love everything about the physicality of the sport. I liked to hit people. I liked to be hit. Football is always going to be the best sport there is.”

Al Toon and Wayne Chrebet couldn’t be more similar, after further examination. Yet, as similar as these two are, is as passionate as the Jets fanbase is when thinking back on the beloved figures.

Which man enjoyed the better Jets career?

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Robby Sabo is a co-founder, developer and credentialed New York Jets content creator for Jets X-Factor | Jet X, which includes Sabo's Sessions (in-depth film breakdowns) and Sabo with the Jets. Host: Underdog Jets Podcast with Wayne Chrebet and Sabo Radio. Member: Pro Football Writers of America. Coach: Port Jervis (NY) High School. Washed up strong safety and 400M runner. Founder: Elite Sports NY - ESNY (sold in 2020). SEO: XLM Email: robby.sabo[at]jetsxfactor.com
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3 years ago

I really like these kind of articles. I became a fan sometime during the 2012 season and tbh besides the 2015 year when we almost made it we’ve sucked my whole fandom, but when I read articles like this and watch Jets documentaries it makes me proud and happy to be a Louisiana native that’s a Jets fan. Please do more of these.