- Jabar Gaffney’s first playoff game was pretty cool–it was the 2006 Wild Card Game, and Gaffney was playing for the Patriots, who were at home against the Jets. In a 36-17 New England victory, Gaffney hauled in 104 of Tom Brady’s 212 passing yards. Oddly enough, Gaffney outplayed nearly his entire regular season in this game– in 11 games for the Pats, he caught just 11 passes.
- But Gaffney’s whole career was pretty odd– he was the second draft pick in the history of the Texans organization, in 2002, as Houston used the 33rd overall selection on the wide receiver.
- Gaffney’s best year with the Texans was 2004, when David Carr targeted him 68 times, and Gaffney caught 41 of them for 642 yards and two touchdowns. By the time he left Houston after 2005, he was widely considered a bust. But little did the Texans know, Gaffney was one of the handful of guys who got better as he got older.
- In fact, Gaffney got much better as he got older: His eighth, ninth, and tenth years in the league, split between Denver and Washington, were, consecutively, his best years in the NFL. His season with the Skins yielded 68 receptions for 947 yards and 5 touchdowns, all career highs.
- Gaffney’s last season was an abbreviated one: 2012, in Miami, where he played just three games before the Dolphins released him. He was suspended for two games shortly after his release from the Phins, for nondisclosure of a 2010 arrest. He would never serve the suspension, and never played in the league again. Just months after posting a career year, Gaffney was gone. He is a fascinating case-study to me, as a player who defied both his critics and supporters at different points of his tenure in the NFL.