Jets reveal new uniforms that honor 'New York Sack Exchange'

The New York Jets are banking that a retro look can bring new results in 2024 and beyond.

After owner Woody Johnson signaled the intention to permanently throw the club's look back minutes after Super Bowl 58 ended – much to the chagrin of his fan base after former Jets receiver Mecole Hardman caught the winning touchdown pass from Patrick Mahomes in overtime for the Kansas City Chiefs – Gang Green revealed its "new" uniforms on social media Monday morning. And, yes, they're pretty much the same ones featured from 1978 through 1997 and briefly last season – including the opening night game when quarterback Aaron Rodgers tore his Achilles four snaps into the season.

Nevertheless, the Jets are fully embracing the color, style and logo from the "New York Sack Exchange" era – they termed it "Legacy White" for the two games the white jerseys and pants were featured in 2023 − specifically a callback to the versions used from 1979 to '89. That will include a green jersey and an alternate black one, largely reminiscent of the "Stealth Black" (now "Legacy Black") kit utilized in recent years however with the old logo in green yet trimmed in white on a matte black helmet shell. The block J-E-T-S insignia is topped with a plane reminiscent of the old Concorde or Boeing's logo.

"We work for the fans," Johnson said in a statement. "They have consistently asked for us to return to our roots and we heard them. The new uniforms are explicitly designed to look and feel like the New York Jets while refreshing the club's iconic logo – viewed by fans as our most identifiable mark."

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - SEPTEMBER 11: Wide receiver Xavier Gipson #82 of the New York Jets scores the game winning touchdown on a 65-yard punt return during the overtime quarter of the NFL game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium on September 11, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Jets defeated the Bills 22-16 in overtime. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 775992265 ORIG FILE ID: 1675304562

The Sack Exchange was the nickname coined for the Jets' dominant defense in the 1980s, one anchored by Hall of Fame defensive lineman Joe Klecko along with pass rusher Mark Gastineau and tackles Marty Lyons and Abdul Salaam. Gastineau set the single-season sack record with 22 in 1984, a mark later surpassed by Michael Strahan and T.J. Watt.

The organization also announced a "full suite of secondary logos has been developed to reinforce and expand the Jets brand identity. These logos incorporate key characteristics of the primary mark, including font, color and in some instances the distinctive shape of the Jet."

The Jets' only Super Bowl appearance and win occurred following the 1968 season, when Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath famously guaranteed and delivered an upset of the NFL's heavily favored Baltimore Colts one year before the senior league absorbed the Jets and the AFL. They went 3-4 in the playoffs during the 1980s, reaching one AFC championship game, a loss at Miami to the Dolphins when quarterback Richard Todd threw five interceptions.

Since the their loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2010 AFC title game, the Jets have not appeared in postseason, currently the longest drought in the league. They have not won the AFC East since 2002.

The injury to Rodgers, who reported for offseason training in suburban New Jersey on Monday morning, last season deflated a team that was hoping to end its championship hex. New York finished 7-10, again sporting an elite defense undermined by a hapless offense that struggled with quarterback Zach Wilson, the second overall pick of the 2021 draft.

Regardless, expectations are building anew after a seemingly strong offseason that included the acquisitions of left tackle Tyron Smith, wide receiver Mike Williams and pass rusher Haason Reddick. The team holds the 10th pick of the upcoming draft, one expected to provide another impact player, but has no second-rounder, surrendering it to the Green Bay Packers in the trade for Rodgers.

The Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions and Houston Texans are also expected to modify their uniform kits for the upcoming season.


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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jets' new uniforms: Team's look honors "New York Sack Exchange"