Kevin Mawae believes unless a miracle occurs, he'll be officially an ex-Jet by Sunday. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
With the NFL giving teams a three day extension to get under the salary cap late today, Jets C Kevin Mawae is still officially on the team. However, after speaking with Jets Insider.com this evening, he feels that barring a miracle, he's played his last game for Gang Green.
That being said, Mawae has chosen Jets Insider.com to give an exclusive address and commentary on his situation.
"To all the Jets fans on Jets Insider.com:
I just want to say thank you for your commitment to the New York Jets. I have never been around so many people who love their team as much as you do! Over the past 8 years of playing in the green and white, one thing I could count on was the Jets faithful being in the stands. The word around the locker rooms is that even when the Jets are losing, the fans still come out just to boo the players. That may have been so from time to time, but the impressive thing was that you were still there! From the Monday Night Miracle to the Baltimore debacle, you have been there for your team. As a player I say thank you.
I have been a regular reader of this site for a few years, and although I have never actually posted on the messageboard, I enjoy seeing what the fans are thinking, and it's awesome the amount of knowledge you have for the game! (For the most part.) I know I have made a few friends and gained a ton of fans for what I have done over the past 8 seasons, it's playing in front of fans like you that makes the game so much fun for me.
I also know that there are a few fans who never really cared for me or thought of me as overrated, called me a whiner or selfish etc. To you, I appreciate your opinion, however deluded it may be. Your comments only added fuel to the passion that is already inside of me to play the greatest game on earth!
Finally to clear the air on "insider reports" on my situation, I would like to say that in the 8 years I have been here, I have lived up to every aspect of my contract both in and out of season, on and off the field. When I restructured my deal 4 years ago, I thought I would retire as a New York Jet. My contract was structured in such a way to prevent a situation that I face this weekend, where I could possibly be released due to salary cap restrictions.
For the record, my cap number for the 2006 season is $4.46m. My actual salary is $2.8m. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that if I am officially cut, the cap savings the NY Jets will get will only be $1.6m. Considering the fact that the team is still nearly 12 million over the cap even after my departure shows that this decision is not about money, but more about the direction management wants to take the team.
I have no ill will towards Mike Tannebaum or Eric Mangini and never will. I do however take exception to those who "know the situation" and want to call me greedy, disloyal, an **hole, or whatever. I have been nothing but a team player, an encourager, and a teacher to my teammates over the years. I have never let money be a motivating factor in the way I play the game and I never will. I do believe in the value of team work, hard work, and professionalism. Unfortunately this isn't the priorities of some people. In addition, I do believe that when you sign a contract, you are giving your word to the other party that you will perform at your very best to fulfill every aspect of that word. I have done just that, and expected to continue with that goal throughout the remainder of my contract only now I face the fact that contracts and your word are only binding on one side in the NFL.
With all this being said, my hope is that the fans of New York will remember the effort, hard work, dedication, and passion I have displayed over the past 8 years. I thank you for your support, I thank God for my time in New York and I thank my teammates, coaches, and management for the opportunity to ply my trade in the greatest city in America!"
God bless you all,