New York Jets: LB Larry Grantham
In 2023, versatile defensive lineman Joe Klecko was the first member of the storied “Sack Exchange” to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Along with Marty Lyons, Abdul Salaam and exuberant Mark Gastineau, this foursome terrorized opposing quarterbacks in the early and mid-1980s. Gastineau was credited with 107.5 sacks, was named to five consecutive Pro Bowls from 1981-85 and also earned All-Pro accolades in three of those seasons.
He makes for an interesting discussion when it comes to the Hall of Fame. However, there is arguably a more worthwhile candidate who began his football career in 1960, when the New York Titans were one of the original members of the American Football League.
Linebacker Larry Grantham was not only drafted by the Titans in ‘60, he was a 15th-round selection of the Baltimore Colts that same year. The University of Mississippi product opted for the AFL. He made an immediate impact on the newly formed team and was named All-Pro in each of his first five seasons. Grantham missed only seven games in 13 seasons.
He finished his pro career with 24 interceptions and 10 fumble recoveries while being credited with 38.5 sacks. The five-time Pro Bowler and five-time All-Pro finished with three solo tackles and a pair of passes defensed in the Jets’ stunning 16-7 win over the Colts in Super Bowl III.