The Jets have not had another player wearing No. 80 since Chrebet retired in 2005
Wayne Chrebet is one of the greatest to ever play for the New York Jets.
He became a Ring of Honor member in 2014.
It’s time to take the next step and retire his number.
Yes, we’re biased over here. Wayne is a beloved member of the Jets X-Factor family. He appears on “The Underdog Jets” podcast together with our website founder and owner, Robby Sabo.
Still, that doesn’t mitigate the fact that Chrebet deserves it. And the Jets know it, too: they haven’t had anyone wear No. 80 since the shifty receiver retired after the 2005 season.
Chrebet played his entire 11-year career in the Green and White. He came to the team as an undrafted rookie, but he quickly established himself, garnering 123 targets during the 1995 season.
Wayne was never going to be a burner. He eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards only once in his career. He was often overshadowed by teammates such as Keyshawn Johnson and Laveranues Coles.
But if you needed a catch in a big spot, it was No. 80 you called. If you needed a guy who could take a bruising hit from a safety over the middle and hang on, it was Wayne.
Chrebet’s 580 catches for 7,365 yards and 41 touchdowns speak to his longevity and health. He played in at least 15 games in eight of his 11 seasons, with the dropoff coming at the end. From 1995 to 2002, he had the eighth-most third-down conversions of any wide receiver in the NFL with 125 over that span. Talk about clutch.
No. 80 was part of some of the most iconic moments in Jets history, including the ‘Monday Night Miracle’ comeback in 2000 against the Miami Dolphins and the 15-point comeback against Tampa in 62 seconds that same year.
Wayne’s impact on the Jets goes far beyond the numbers. He was the heart and soul of the team in the late 1990s and the first half of the 2000s. He endured the lean years and led the team in the good ones. It’s no surprise that Chrebet’s lone 1,000-yard season came in 1998, the year that the Jets went 12-4 and made it to the AFC Championship Game.
Furthermore, Chrebet had a big impact in those two playoff games in 1998. He hauled in 12 of 18 targets for 166 yards, and 11 out of those 12 catches went for first downs. That was No. 80 at his best.
So, Woody Johnson, let’s make fact what has actually been there since Chrebet’s retirement: put No. 80 up on the rafters. Let all future players honor the legacy of one of the quiet greats of the Jets franchise.
I’m a big fan for sure. I’m a bit older than you so maybe it’s part of my opinion but I don’t think his number should be retired. He was a great Jet, he is a model of hard work and team player and that’s wonderful. I know he’s a fan favorite and has provided some fantastic memories but tugging on heart strings shouldn’t get a number retired. His production was very good but to have number retired there has to be a mix of “team player” with statistical prowess.
I saw only the tail end of Chrebet’s career. But I think for what he brought to the team, his heart, his grittiness, his clutchness, he deserves to have his number retired. Though his compilation stats are not elite, for the role he played, they absolutely are. His numbers are similar to Julian Edelman’s, and Edelman played a similar role for the Patriots. You can’t underestimate the value of that kind of player, even though they’re not going to put up huge numbers. (Edelman had three 1,000-yard seasons, and though injuries obviously limited his total stats, he also played in a much more pass-happy era.)
Furthermore, part of the point is that the Jets have pseudo-retired his number by not allowing anyone else to wear it. If they’re going to do that, they might as well go all the way and actually retire No. 80.
You are correct, what he brought in leadership, teamwork and toughness was palpable. I see you point about not allowing anybody to wear it, then retire it, is that confirmed or has nobody wanted that number?
Obviously, it’s possible, but he last played in 2005. You don’t think anyone has wanted to wear No. 80 in 17 years?
Right…very odd. I love the guy and wouldn’t be upset if it were retired.