The third time could be the charm for Kevin Mawae. The former Jets Pro Bowl center is back knocking at the door of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Mawae for the third straight year is in prime position to gain entry into the Canton shrine as the Hall on Thursday night announced its 15 Modern Era finalists for membership in the Class of ’19. In both 2015 and ’16, Mawae was among the the 25 semifinalists vying for induction.
And as a finalist in both 2017 and last year, he made it to the final 10 before being voted out of the hunt to wear the coveted Gold Jacket honors and to have his bronze bust on display in the Hall of Fame Gallery.
Mawae remains a strong candidate. While he also spent time at the start of his 16-year career with Seattle and at the finish with Tennessee, he starred in the middle eight of his 16 pro seasons as the pivot man on the Jets’ offensive line. He made six of his eight Pro Bowls as a member of the Green & White. And he was inducted into the Jets’ Ring of Honor during the 2017 season.
Mawae’s Jets career was intertwined with that of Curtis Martin, the Jets’ Hall of Fame running back who, behind the blocks thrown by No. 68 and his fellow linemen, ran for 100 yards in 44 games and 1,000 yards in seven consecutive seasons.
“The New York Jets mean a lot to me,” said Mawae, who for the past year has worked as a quality control analyst for his old Jets coach, Herm Edwards, at Arizona State University. “People ask me when I retired, who did I associate myself with more. And there’s no doubt after eight years in New York. The highlight and apex of my career were spent there. I’m a New York Jet now and I always will be.”