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Hometown boy officially a Jet
March 11th, 2005
The Jets solved their problem at backup quarterback when they officially signed ten year veteran and Oceanside LI native Jay Fiedler today.

ALSO: Jets sign a Linebacker and Putzier deal dead. The Jets solved their problem at backup quarterback when they officially signed ten year veteran and Oceanside LI native Jay Fiedler today.

“Jay is a veteran who has competed in the post season and gives our offense depth,” said Jets GM Terry Bradway. “He knows the AFC East real well, and is a great competitor.”

Fiedler, 33, will be entering his 10th NFL season in 2005 and his first as a member of the New York Jets. The 6-2, 225 pound graduate of Dartmouth spent the previous five seasons with the Miami Dolphins (2000-’04). He originally broke into the NFL in 1994 as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles (1994-’95) and also played in 1998 with the Minnesota Vikings and in 1999 with the Jacksonville Jaguars before joining the Dolphins in 2000. Fiedler has played in 74 regular season NFL games, making 60 starts, and has attempted 1,704 passes with 1,000 completions for 11,737 yards and a completion percentage of 58.7 with 68 touchdown passes, 66 interceptions and a career passer rating of 76.9.

Among active quarterbacks in the NFL, Fiedler owns the fifth-best starting record (minimum 25 starts) with a 37-23 record for a .617 winning percentage mark. He is bested only by New England’s Tom Brady (.774), Philadelphia’s Donovan McNabb (.709), Arizona’s Kurt Warner (.678) and Green Bay’s Brett Favre (.659). Fiedler also has three postseason starts to his credit, with a 1-2 mark in the playoff games.

In 2004, Fiedler was 101-190 for 1,186 yards with seven touchdowns and eight interceptions for a passer rating of 67.1. He started seven games for the Dolphins and played in a reserve role once. He was placed on the Injured Reserve list on November 23 with a cervical disc herniation.

On a confernece call with the local media today, Fiedler acknowledged his role with the team behind Pennington.

"I know Chad's the starter," said Fiedler. "He's done a great job over the last few years. I also know his shoulder situation. That's going to allow me to come in and get a lot of work in the offseason, get a good familiarity with the players around here. Once Chad gets back, I know he's the guy.

Fiedler reminisced about growing up as a Jets fan and how it's special to now be a member of the team.

"I grew up on the Island. As most Long Islanders, I was a big Jet fan. I watched Richard Todd, Ken O'Brien, Pat Ryan all quarterbacking these teams. Seeing guys like Freeman McNeil, Wesley Walker. I could go on and on with all the guys I remember watching as a youngster. I was definitely a big Jet fan growing up."

Fiedler joins the list of local products that have come back to NY to play for the Jets most notably, Boomer Esiason of East Islip NY, and Vinny Testaverde of Elmont NY. According to Fiedler's agent Brian Levy, the QB received a five-year deal with $1.3 million guaranteed, including a $500,000 signing bonus.

MISCELLANEOUS TIDBITS:

Jets add LB Gardner: The Jets signed six year veteran LB Barry Gardner who for the last two seasons played for the Cleveland Browns. Gardner, (6'1"-245 Lbs.), will play special teams and will add depth at LB. The signing of Gardner means that either Jason Glenn or Kenyatta Wright who are both FA's won't be re-signed.

-Putzier deal dead, Jets now look to Dilger: Despite some last minute negotiating, the Jets failed to reach a deal with Denver for RFA Jeb Putzier. The Jets had signed Putzier to a $12.5MM offer sheet last week that Denver matched. There was then talk that the Jets would try to offer higher compensation than Putzier's sixth round tender but reports say the Broncos wanted a second rounder which was a bit too rich for the Jets blood. The team will now look at ten year veteran TE Ken Dilger who was an impact player for Indianapolis for many years. Dilger last season played for the Bucs where he caught 39 passes and scored 3 TD's. He's expected to visit the Jets early next week.

-There are also reports that the Jets are exploring bringing back TE Anthony Becht if he is willing to sign a cap friendly deal. Becht, who became an UFA this month has had marginal interest around the league. He visited Tampa Bay this week but no contract was offered and is expected to meet with Pittsburgh next week. The Bergen Record quoted an NFL source speaking about Becht as, "His price is going down like Martha Stewart stock."

Stay Tuned.