Joe Klecko
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Joe Klecko is on the doorstep of immortality.

The Jets great is one of three senior candidate finalists for the 2023 Pro Football Hall of Fame class. Klecko, Chuck Howley and Ken Riley were announced as the finalists on Wednesday.

So what does that mean?

Klecko has one more hurdle to clear on his long and winding road to Canton. If he (and Howley and Riley) can get support from 80% of the voting panel in January. That is typically a formality for senior candidates. So Klecko should be on his way to the Hall of Fame next year. And deservedly so.

From The Post:


Klecko played 11 seasons for the Jets and was a key figure in the team’s famed “Sack Exchange” of the early 1980s, along with Mark Gastineau, Marty Lyons and Abdul Salaam. Klecko was a two time All-Pro selection and made the Pro Bowl at three different positions — nose tackle, defensive tackle and defensive end. He spent the final season of his career with the Colts.

Sacks did not become an official stat until 1982, but Pro Football Reference researched sacks prior to that year and credits Klecko with 78 in his career. That is second in Jets history, trailing only Gastineau’s 107.5.

There is a chance the Jets could take over the 2023 induction ceremony. And get stuck playing in the dopey Hall of Fame Game. Darrelle Revis will be on the ballot for the first time next year. He should be a first-ballot shoo-in.

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James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.