"To me, we have the most legitimate contender we've had," Namath said Thursday morning at Jets training camp in upstate New York.
"They have more swagger than we had. That's for sure."
Namath, who famously guided the Jets to their lone championship in Super Bowl III, isn't concerned with all-intergalactic cornerback Darrelle Revis' holdout.
Although he did express disappointment in the decision to cut Pro Bowl guard Alan Faneca, Namath is factoring Rex Ryan's top-rated defense, a bruising offensive line and a maturing quarterback.
"We've got a real serious contender given that [Mark] Sanchez is much further ahead of where he was last year," Namath said, "and the additions of the new players, and the defense now knowing more about Rex."