Hall of Fame receiver Don Maynard dies at 86

USA TODAY Sports

Don Maynard, a Hall of Fame receiver who was the first player to gain 10,000 receiving yards, has died. He was 86. The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced Maynard’s passing on Monday.

Maynard, a ninth-round pick of the Giants in 1958. He was cut in 1959 because then-offensive coordinator Allie Sherman thought Maynard’s strides were too long.

“I cover more ground in one stride than anybody else here does in three,” Maynard replied.

He spent 1959 in the CFL before becoming a member of the New York Titans (later Jets) of the AFL.

Maynard played for New York for the entire duration of the AFL’s existence, winning a Super Bowl with the Jets in early 1969. (He had no catches in the 16-7 win over the Colts, due to a hamstring injury.)

As shown in the attached picture, Maynard did not wear a chin strap. He used extra ear padding to keep his helmet on his head.

Maynard retired with 633 catches for 11,834 yards. Both were career records at the time. Even with the explosion of offense in the past 50 years, Maynard remains No. 31 on the all-time yardage list.

We extend our condolences to Maynard’s family, friends, teammates, and colleagues.

11 responses to “Hall of Fame receiver Don Maynard dies at 86

  1. His last words in his HOF speech were, “God loves you and I do too.” He was remarkable.

  2. RIP to a great receiver!

    I’ll never forget his line in the America’s Game series on SB champions, when he learned that the winners share for Super Bowl III would be a (then astronomical) $15,000: “I want mine in dimes”!!

  3. Don Maynard is very underrated. Did you know that he was the first player ever to surpass 10,000 receiving yards? RIP

  4. RIP to one of the great all-time Jets players. It was a joy to watch him play way back when and it was a joy the time I got to meet him in person. In my opinion, one of the 5 all-time best WR’s for the Jets.

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