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By Arnie Leshin 
I go so far back with the New York Jets, it was my National Football League beat when Joe Namath was arriving hours before game time to apply his soft casts on each knee. 
I remember he had come out of Alabama as a quarterback with a strong arm, could run the option, could provide the leadership, but it took one pre-season game his rookie year to slow him down. 
It was a well attended game up in Hartford between the Jets and rival New York Giants, and in the third quarter Namath ran a play where he appeared to hand the ball off and then ran the short route to the end zone, but he never made it, he instead was knocked down and came up with a heavy blow to the right knee and carried off the field.
That was that, he had a stellar rookie campaign in 1968-69 when the Jets stunned the heavily favored Baltimore Colts in Miami’s Orange Bowl. He’s remained close to the franchise all these years, even offered his No. 12 number to new Jets quarterback Matt Rodgers.
Yup, you read it correctly, after employing maybe 3-4 different quarterbacks last season and ending up with a dismal 11-6 loss to the Miami Dolphins in the season finale and finishing at 7-10, the deal is done, the 38-year-old Rodgers, one of the finest to line up behind the center, is now going to join the gang green and wear No. 8, the same number he wore while at the University of California. 
Now a former long-time star with the Green Bay Packers, he arrived on Tuesday in New York to address the media and meet the Jets personnel, and becomes the second former Packer to depart since Brett Farve in 2003, but rather than remark as Farve did to perhaps remaining with Green Bay, Rodgers differed, 
“I’m very happy to become a member of the New York Jets,” Rodgers said on Monday, 40 days after he originally revealed he’s looking forward to the trade sending him to the 

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