A replacement for FA TE Chris Baker could be signed in the next few days. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
After losing out to the Broncos while he was a restricted free agent last season, the Jets are now reportedly close to signing TE Jeb Putzier who was let go by Denver in a salary cap move two weeks ago.
A source close to Putzier confirmed to Jets Insider.com that the Jets are one of three teams bidding for the four year veteranís services. Houston and Cincinnati are the other two teams in the mix.
The Jets tried to sign Putzier last season while he was a restricted free agent for Denver but the Broncos matched the Jets offer. Surprisingly, Putzier was then released on March 1st in an effort by Denver to get under the salary cap.
Although Putzier didnít have a spectacular season for Denver last year, he was third on the team in receptions with 37 catches for 481 yards. Putzier would take the roster spot of Chris Baker who was allowed to become an unrestricted free agent last week. The Jets other TEís are Doug Jolley, second year man Joel Dreessen and James Dearth who is used almost exclusively as a long snapper. Dreessen is also a long snapper and it could ultimately lead to Dearth being eventually released.
The team was interested in signing former Cowboys TE Dan Campbell and had him in for a visit earlier this week but he signed with Detroit the next day. If the team cannot make a deal with Putzier, they may consider re-signing Baker who reportedly has had interest from Miami and Oakland so far in the open market. Baker is coming off a fractured fibula which caused him to spend the last 2 months of the season on injured reserve.
The team is still working on getting a quality backup for Chad Pennington and is still reportedly interested in dealing for Redskins QB Patrick Ramsey. Sources say the team has offered a 7th round pick while the Redskins are holding out for a 5th. The Redskins bargaining power weakened a bit after they signed veteran backup QB Todd Collins yesterday.
The team has also spoken to Atlanta about a deal for their backup QB Matt Schaub that includes Jets franchise player DE John Abraham in the package. Although he has only two career starts (both losses), Schaub, a two year player and former 3rd round pick from Virginia, has been touted by several NFL experts as a budding star. Sources say that the Jets offered Abraham for Schaub and a 2nd round pick but the Falcons have told the Jets that Schaub is not available. Atlanta is interested in possibly completing a deal for Abraham for draft picks only. However, they donít want to part with their first round choice, number 15 overall. Abraham yesterday met with the Seahawks but they arenít considered to be a serious contender for his services.
The team is also reportedly looking at former Cardinals backup Josh McCown and Brian Griese who was let go by the Bucs last week. Former Saint Aaron Brooks is also now an option after he was released yesterday by New Orleans.
The Jets met yesterday with former Green Bay WR/KR Antonio Chatman and yesterday with former Broncos DT Monsanto Pope on Tuesday. No deal was reached with either player. Former Pats LB Willie McGinest, who the Jets were interested in, signed with Cleveland yesterday.
-For those fans that are thinking the Jets may be interested in former Jets WR Keyshawn Johnson, who was released by Dallas in a salary cap move on Tuesday, forget it. Sources tell Jets Insider that the team has absolutely no interest. Make that double for Terrell Owens.
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