Abdul Salaam (American football)

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Abdul Salaam
No. 74
Position: Defensive tackle
Personal information
Born: (1953-08-12) August 12, 1953 (age 65)
New Brockton, Alabama
Career information
College: Kent State
NFL Draft: 1976 / Round: 7 / Pick: 188
Career history
Career NFL statistics
Sacks: 2.5
Fumble recoveries: 4
Games played: 97
Player stats at NFL.com

Abdul Salaam (born Larry Faulk; August 12, 1953) is a former American football player best remembered for his days as a defensive tackle with the New York Jets' famed "New York Sack Exchange."[1]

College career[edit]

Salaam played baseball and basketball as well as football at Woodward High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. He majored in business at Kent State University, while also playing both nose guard and Linebacker with Kent State's "Carat Gold" defense. He earned first team All-Mid-American Conference three straight seasons.[2]

Professional career[edit]

Known as Larry Faulk when drafted by the New York Jets in the seventh round (188th overall) of the 1976 NFL Draft, he changed his name to Abdul Salaam, which means "servant of peace," in 1977 because he wanted serenity in his life.[3]

The Jets went just 3-11 each of Salaam's first two seasons in the National Football League, however, he was soon joined by Joe Klecko, Mark Gastineau and Marty Lyons on the Jets' defensive line to form one of the top defensive lines in the NFL, known as the "New York Sack Exchange." The four combined for 66 sacks in 1981 to lead the Jets to their first playoff game since 1969.[4]

In November 1981, Salaam, Gastineau, Klecko and Lyons were invited to ring the ceremonial opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange that served as the inspiration for their nickname.[5]

The Jets made the playoffs again in 1982, losing the AFC Championship game to the Miami Dolphins. The only game Salaam appeared in for the Jets in 1983 was the final game of the season, a 34-14 loss to the Dolphins in Miami that brought the Jets' record to 7-9. Following the season, he was traded with Kenny Neil to the San Diego Chargers for a 1984 NFL Draft second-round pick,[6] but neither player ever made an appearance with his new team.


  1. ^ "Abdul Salaam". Football-Reference.com. 
  2. ^ "Glory Days: Celebrating 90 Years of Kent State Football". eInside. September 7, 2009. 
  3. ^ Jerry Eskenazi (October 22, 2002). "New York Sack Exchange". 
  4. ^ "Abdul Salaam". New York Jets Yearbook. 1983. Archived from the original on 2009-02-20. 
  5. ^ Cimini, Rich (2008-09-06). "Jets defense looking to regain glory days of Sack Exchange". New York: Nydailynews.com. Retrieved 2010-08-13. 
  6. ^ Ivan Maisel (February 27, 1984). "A Roundup Of The Week". Sports Illustrated.