Thomas Jones, Mark Sanchez, Brandon Marshall
Jet X Graphic, Getty Images

Jets X-Factor presents part one of its New York Jets all-time “short stint” team, the offense. Only one or two-year Jets qualify.

Robby Sabo

One NFL game equals more than 10 MLB contests. It’s simple math, really. Sixteen games on the NFL slate against 162 games for the boys of summer (a regular summer, that is) brings us to such a thought.

How does the formula break down per one career year? Whatever the true answer, it’s obvious that the football player needs to deal with the shortest shelf life of the four major professional American sports.

It’s why just a few years in the NFL can make a career.

Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Terrell Davis impacted the sport to such a degree in just 78 games (just under five full seasons) that nobody can begin to think about his all-time qualifications. Davis begs the question, however: How many years is too short of a career?

When selecting an all-time New York Jets team, passing the one-year Jet is an easy thing. Even the two-year Jet is easy to dismiss. What about three or four years? This is when it begins to get interesting.

What’s more important? Pure dominance over two or three seasons or a terrific career over a decade?

In this space, we bypass that thought entirely and choose the all-time Jets squad that features the “short stint” players—those who played four years or fewer for the organization.

QB: Mark Sanchez (2009-2012)

The quarterback competition for the short stint team is fierce. Brett Favre and Boomer Esiason put up great cases, but Mark Sanchez’s four-year Jets career qualifies him for this team and considering his tournament marks, it’s not up for debate.

Sanchez’s four playoff wins ranks first on the organization’s all-time list at the position, two clear of the next closest guy (Joe Namath and Chad Pennington each have two).

Perhaps Ryan Fitzpatrick has the greatest gripe here. The Jets single-season record holder for passing touchdowns (31 in 2015) has to be the runner-up to Sanchez.

Update, 6:40 p.m. ET, June 3, 2020:

Mark Sanchez was a Jet for five seasons, despite missing the entire 2013 season. Therefore, another quarterback should be chosen, and in this case, it would have to be Ryan Fitzpatrick.

RB: Thomas Jones (2007-2009)

Thomas Jones didn’t enjoy the best first season in New York (1,119 rushing yards, 1 touchdown), but once the offensive line officially came together, ground-and-pound was born.

Jones’s 2009 mark of 14 rushing touchdowns remain the Jets’ single-season record. The 2008 Pro Bowler is currently ranked seventh all-time on the team’s rushing list in spite of his short three-year stint.

There was some decent competition at the running back spot as Jones needed to edge out Leon Washington, Shonn Greene and NFL draft bust Blair Thomas. Adrian Murrell played five seasons with the Jets.


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