December 2005 - New York Jets Wiretap
Jets Are Confident That They Can Sign Abraham Long Term
One of the key items on the Jets' offseason agenda is the future of DE John Abraham, who is eligible for free agency. Although a plan of attack still isn't etched in stone, the Jets are reasonably confident they can sign him to a long-term contract, according to a person familiar with the team's thinking. If they use the franchise tag on him again, taking up substantial cap space, it would cripple the team's chances of being active in free agency - and there are many holes to fill. Plus, the franchise tag could be costlier than first anticipated. The franchise tender for a defensive end could rise to at least $8.6 million in 2006, according to an NFL source. In 2005, it was $6.7 million. The amount is determined by the average salary of the five highest-paid players at the position. Because he was tagged once, Abraham's new franchise tender would be 20% higher than the previous salary (bringing it up to $8 million) or the new franchise number, whichever is greater. The inflation could motivate the Jets to sign him to a cap-friendly, long-term deal. Failing that, they could trade him.
Pennington Could Still Return In '06
Ever since Chad Pennington injured his right rotator cuff for a second time, the Jets have painted an optimistic picture about his future. But offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger expressed hesitancy Tuesday on the return of the franchise quarterback for the start of 2006, saying he was worried about Pennington because of the severity of the injury. Pennington injured his rotator cuff in September, less than a year after tearing it for the first time. "They say he's ahead of where he was last year," Heimerdinger said. "Now how much that is -- I am hesitant because two rotator cuffs is, and a guy who makes his living throwing the ball, I'm hesitant to say he's way ahead. We've got to be careful with it. "We don't need to push him because of the situation we're in. We need for him to be healthy and be confident in what he's doing throwing-wise, arm strength-wise, the whole bit." Heimerdinger said he wasn't sure how much Pennington would be able to take part in mini-camps or offseason training activities. Coach Herman Edwards was unavailable for comment because he was in Tampa, Fla., for the funeral of Tony Dungy's son. When Pennington got hurt against Jacksonville, it became clear the Jets would be in the market for another quarterback come this offseason. But Edwards and Pennington have continually said they were optimistic about his return. Pennington said after his surgery in October that he was grateful for having a few extra months to rehab his shoulder. Last season, Pennington injured his rotator cuff during the season but played through it and had surgery in February.
Chrebet Announces Retirement
Jets receiver Wayne Chrebet said Thursday his career was over, one month after sustaining a season-ending concussion. Chrebet spent 11 seasons with his hometown team after signing as an undrafted free agent out of Hofstra, but was plagued with head injuries the last few seasons. Though he was undersized at 5-foot-10, he quickly became a clutch possession receiver, working his way up the team record charts. He ends his career with 580 receptions, second to Don Maynard's 627 on the team list. Chrebet made his first appearance at the Jets' facility Thursday since he was hurt Nov. 6 against San Diego. His impromptu comments confirmed the expected. "I'm not going to get back on the field. I think everybody's aware of that," Chrebet said. "But I'm just thankful and want to let the right people know I appreciate everything they've done for me."
Ellis And Robertson To Sit For Jets
Jets defensive end Shaun Ellis and tackle Dewayne Robertson will miss Sunday's game against Miami because of injuries. The status of both starters was downgraded Saturday. Ellis (hamstring) and Robertson (thigh) missed practice all week and had been listed as questionable. Neither made the trip to Miami. Ellis was injured in last week's win over Oakland while Robertson aggravated his thigh injury in the game. Bryan Thomas is expected to start for Ellis. Lance Legree will replace Robertson.
Martin Vows To Retun In '06
No matter the year, the New York Jets had one sure thing week after week: Curtis Martin. Now that he is out for the season, nothing is so sure anymore. Will Martin return to the New York Jets in 2006? If he does, will he be the starter? Martin vowed to be back in 2006, and coach Herman Edwards said Monday he anticipates the venerable running back will be on the team. Many questions have to be answered first. When training camp opens, he will be 33 -- ancient in running back years -- and coming off surgery on his right knee. Even before he got hurt against Miami in Week 2, there were questions whether he lost a step just one year removed from winning the NFL rushing title. But his supporters point to one key fact: Martin played most of this season with a major injury before deciding to call it quits.
Martin Ends Streak
Jets running back Curtis Martin will undergo season-ending surgery on his right knee after missing Sunday's game against Oakland, breaking a streak of 119 regular-season starts. Martin, known for his ability to play through pain, initially hurt his knee against Miami in Week 2. The reigning NFL rushing champion has missed five regular-season games during his 11-year career. He last missed a game on Oct. 11, 1998, when he sat out against St. Louis with a thigh injury. Including playoff games, the 32-year-old Martin had started 126 straight. With his year over, Martin failed in his quest to become the first player in NFL history to start a career with 11 straight 1,000 yard seasons. He finished with 735 yards. The team said Martin will have surgery this week. Rookie Cedric Houston will start in Martin's place.
Jets Likely To Cut Fiedler Following Surgery
Jay Fiedler's warm and fuzzy homecoming turned out to be lukewarm and not too fuzzy. It also will be remembered as brief. The Jets' backup quarterback, scheduled for surgery today on his dislocated throwing shoulder, isn't expected to start throwing again until next spring. By then, he could be an ex-Jet. With Chad Pennington recovering from surgery, the Jets apparently don't want to take the risk of having two surgically repaired shoulders on their 2006 depth chart and they will release Fiedler before next season, according to a person familiar with the club's thinking. The Raiders' Kerry Collins, who lost his starting job this week to Marques Tuiasosopo and probably will be a salary-cap casualty after the season, will draw strong consideration from the Jets as they attempt to rebuild at quarterback.