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Ellis deal official

By Justin Paley
Jets Insider.com Staff Writer
November 29th, 2004
The Jets made a big move in securing the team's future by signing DE Shaun Ellis to a contract extension. Terms of the deal were not disclosed but it is varius reports day the deal averages around $7 million a year with a signing bonus in the $15 million range. The deal makes Ellis one of the highest paid defensive ends in the NFL.

The Jets made a big move in securing the team's future by signing DE Shaun Ellis to a contract extension. Terms of the deal were not disclosed but it is varius reports day the deal averages around $7 million a year with a signing bonus in the $15 million range. The deal makes Ellis one of the highest paid defensive ends in the NFL.

GM Terry Bradway, who signed a contract extension last week, said both sides have been working on the deal since May and is glad to have Ellis locked up.

“I know in any deal, both sides want to come away feeling good, and I think that's what we have here,” Bradway said. “But more importantly, I think a credit to Shaun, is that Shaun wanted to be here. He started here. I think he'd like to finish here. He knows we have some unfinished business he'd like to care of in terms of winning a championship, and that's the most important thing.”

Ellis is happy to get the deal done now, instead of having to worry about it after the season.

“My mind's free,” Ellis said. “I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulder. I'm able to breathe again, knowing that I'm going to be here. It was a tough decision because I was trying to get everybody's opinion on what I should do. But overall, it was my decision to be here. And that's what I wanted to do, I wanted to be a Jet.” With Ellis now locked up, GM Terry Bradway can turn his attention to several other key free agents. First and foremost is Ellis' partner, DE John Abraham who will likely command bigger numbers than Ellis. Also on the priority list are DT Jason Ferguson, TE Anthony Becht, RT Kareem McKenzie, and RB Lamont Jordan. Ellis hopes everyone can remain Jets.

“I like the environment around here,” Ellis said. “I like Chad (Pennington). We came in together. John (Abraham), (Anthony) Becht. I like Curt (Martin), I like (Kevin) Mawae. We have a good group of guys here. That's what I wanted to surround myself with, and I didn't want to leave that. You know, they always say the grass looks greener on the other side, but it's not always greener. And I really stand by that. If I have a good thing going on here, why change that to go for something that's new.”

Ellis said this Jets team has the chance to be special.

“I just felt like, you know, here was my destiny to be here, and I feel like a lot of good things are going to happen with this organization,” Ellis said. “We have a good chance to win, you know, Super Bowls, go to the playoffs, you know, just do a bunch of great things here. And I wanted to be a part of that with the Jets organization.”

Last year, Ellis had a breakout year, earning his first trip to the Pro Bowl leading the Jets with 12.5 sacks. This year, Ellis has 36 tackles and 4.5 sacks as part of a Jets defense that is ranked 7th in the NFL and forced four turnovers in yesterday’s 13-3 win over Arizona. Ellis gave credit to defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson.

“Donnie, he came in, he said, ‘We need a line,’” Ellis said. “He's going to turn us loose up front. He knew that we had the ability to do that. He just let us go, let us play aggressive. With the scheme, I think we fit his scheme. We’re fast up front, we can get after the passer, don't have to blitz all the time. But our front seven, man, we're trying to make it like one of the best in the League. And this is one of the steps of reaching that goal.”

The other big news to come out of Weeb Ewbank Hall today was that QB Chad Pennington has been upgraded to questionable. Since straining his right rotator cuff against the Bills on November 7, Pennington did not pick up a football for the first two weeks and let the swelling go down. Last week, Pennington threw about 50 balls on Wednesday and 80 balls on Thursday. Yesterday before the game in warm-ups, Pennington made 50 throws and said everything felt fine. Pennington talked about the rehab will focus on this week.

“The rehab just shifts to practicing and playing out on the field and being able to make the throws as I’m reacting to what I’m seeing, not something that’s planned,” Pennington said. “Practicing this week is part of the rehab. Its part of what we’re trying to go through to get ready to play. I know I’m listed as questionable, but I’m going to prepare as if I’m the starter this week and by the end of the week I’m sure we’ll make a decision and it will be a game time decision whether or not I can go.”

If Pennington cannot go, QB Quincy Carter would make his fourth straight start. Yesterday, Carter was 8-of-12 for 133 yards and a touchdown.

Edwards would rather have Pennington come back on Sunday at home against Houston than on December 12 on the road at Pittsburgh.

“I think it's always good, if a player is coming back, to try to get him to play at home because the environment of being at home, not having to travel, home fans, home crowd, I think that's always a better ideal situation for a player,” Edwards said.

Edwards will not start Pennington if he is not 100%.

“The whole key to the whole thing is, you know, it's easy to practice because you don't get hit,” Edwards said. “I mean, he hasn't got hit yet. That's the thing that concerns me the most of a guy, has he gotten hit? He hasn't been hit. He hasn't been touched. We have to look at all those facets. One thing we're not going to do, we're never going to put a player in there where we feel he's not good enough to play where we're putting him in harm's way, where he can re-injure himself. That can happen any time a guy has an injury. What you always want to make sure, you want to be cautionary with guys.”

MISCELLANEOUS TIDBITS: The Jets were called for nine penalties yesterday. The Jets still have the second-lowest total number of penalties with 60 and the lowest yardage with 450. Edwards talks about what needs to be done to correct the situation. “We got to do something about it,” Edwards said. “We just got to be careful. I'm going to address that again this week. Our guys are playing hard. You don't want to take their aggression away. Just have to play a little smarter at times.”…WR Santana Moss caught the only Jets touchdown yesterday, a 69-yard pass from Carter. Edwards talked about the TD. “When I saw it leave his hand, I just said, ‘It's going to be a foul ball,’” Edwards said. “Looked like a foul ball as far as I was concerned. I didn't think Santana was going to get there. Then it was just so high, I said, ‘This thing is never going to come out of the sky.’ It just kept coming, kept coming. All of a sudden I saw Santana run into the end zone. ‘Did he catch that ball?’ He caught it. Just one of those throws. It was a heck of a throw and a catch.”…Edwards feels LB Mark Brown (2 tackles) did a nice job filling in for LB Victor Hobson, who missed the game with a high ankle sprain. “He played good, really did,” Edwards said. “Did some good things. Made some plays on the run. Did some good things in coverage. Good to have a guy like Mark. He's taking advantage of his opportunities and he's playing well for us.”

INJURY REPORT: As mentioned above, QB Chad Pennington is questionable. Pennington is expected to continue to rehab this week by testing his arm throwing. LB Victor Hobson missed yesterday’s game with a high ankle sprain and is questionable for Sunday. If he cannot play, LB Mark Brown would make his second straight start. LB Jason Glenn was inactive yesterday and is questionable with a fractured forearm he suffered on October 24. S Jon McGraw (groin) and WR Jerricho Cotchery (hamstring) both were inactive yesterday and are probable this week.

-QB Chad Pennington (shoulder):Questionable
-LB Victor Hobson (ankle):Questionable
-LB Jason Glenn (forearm):Questionable
-S Jon McGraw (groin):Probable
-WR Jerricho Cotchery (hamstring):Probable

The Jets will face QB David Carr and the 5-6 Houston Texans at the Meadowlands next Sunday. Check back often to Jets Insider.com for all the latest news and reports as the team prepares for the Texans.

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