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.
Jets Are Confident That They Can Sign Abraham Long Term