The case for Curtis Martin being a first ballot Hall of Famer. Voting takes place Wednesday, Feb. 5.
The reality is starting to set in, isn't it New York Jets fans? We are into our second week without our usual collection of Rex Ryan quotes and discussions about how to prepare for this week's opponent. The season is over and the scariest part is there is no end in sight because of the ongoing labor negotiations. However, there is something for all New York Jets fans to root for this week and that is Curtis Martin's candidacy for the Hall of Fame.
Make no mistake, Martin is more than worthy of making it on the first ballot regardless of how talented this year's class is. The competition is stiff this year, with Marshall Faulk and Jerome Bettis also eligible for the first time. They, of course, share Martin's position. However, Martin's numbers stack up favorably to any candidate as he quietly put together a historically great career.
Martin's 14,101 rushing yards are fourth all-time in NFL history, behind only Barry Sanders, Walter Payton, and Emmit Smith. His 3,518 rushing attempts are third all-time in NFL history, which is a testament to his toughness and durability. Further proving that point is how Martin started his career with 10 straight 1,000-yard seasons, which has only been accomplished by himself and Barry Sanders. Martin was also the oldest player to ever win a rushing title at age 31, is seventh all-time in career yards from scrimmage, and 12th all-time with 90 career rushing touchdowns.
You couldn't ask for a better representative of the Jets organization in the Hall of Fame than Curtis Martin. The guy was a class act from the day he entered the NFL and always led the way with charitable actions, which he has carried on since his career ended. Martin was never a flashy player and always had a team first mentality, which may be why he is occasionally overlooked as an all-time great at the position but make no mistake, Martin belongs in Canton and he belongs this year.