Few people remember that Pro Football Hall of Famer Floyd Little initially committed to the New York Jets. Here’s more behind the scenes on this riveting ‘what if’ scenario.
The New York Jets were this close to having a Pro Football Hall of Fame talent at running back in 1967 with their eyes set on Floyd Little. Apparently, the feeling was mutual according to Floyd’s comments:
“I almost died (when the Broncos called),” Floyd Little recalled decades later via DenverBroncos.com. “It was not what I expected. I was halfway not happy about it because I had talked with the (New York) Jets and I had to get to the ninth pick in order to go with the Jets. I had also spoken with Jim Finks, who was on his way to Minnesota, and I also spoke with (Vince) Lombardi who had an interest in drafting me (for the Packers), but I told him I was already committed to go to the Jets.”
I’ve had the great pleasure of meeting Floyd Little on multiple occasions in Syracuse (his alma mater) in person with my gig as a sports talk radio host in the salt city. He’s a wonderful person and one of the most underrated running backs in NFL History.
While he only had one season above 1,000 yards rushing in his career, that’s not because he wasn’t talented enough. There are several factors to take into consideration: fewer games than there are now, different offenses back then, and he was on some terrible Broncos teams. Maybe that would’ve been different in Gotham with the green and white?
Can you imagine how nasty the Jets could’ve been with a backfield consisting of Emerson Boozer, Matt Snell, and Floyd Little?! With ‘Broadway’ Joe Namath under center, the Jets may have come away with more than just one Super Bowl trophy.