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The Signing Of Ellis Makes Abraham Expendable

By Christopher Mayone
Jets Insider.com Staff Writer
January 5th, 2005
The wrong Jets DE got a Pro Bowl invite this season. Shaun Elllis deserves it. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
The wrong Jets DE got a Pro Bowl invite this season. Shaun Elllis deserves it. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
ST. LOUIS, MO - There went Steven Jackson flying around the Jets end for a touchdown in Sundayís overtime loss to the Rams.

The Jets best defensive player, John Abraham, could just watch from the sidelines. His team was in another big game fighting tooth and nail for their playoff lives. And as usual the speed rushing defensive end who gives quarterbacks night tremors while trying to sleep before games was in street clothes.

The DNPís (Did Not Play) on the stat sheet is more daunting that the 10 sacks next to his number. His latest game missed with a "sore knee" marks his fourth straight game out of uniform and seventh without a sack.

Well guess what, John? You are playing yourself right out of town. A bum knee in a contract year, one happy hour away from a suspension, and maybe you arenít even our best defensive player anymore. I think big number 92 would agree. Give Shaun Ellis three sacks Sunday, making 11. Thatís more than you, John. Imagine, he did that without you on the opposite end chewing up double-teams, John. Imagine how you would do without Ellis in the lineup.

Wait, thatís never going to happen.

Ellis, who a few weeks ago inked a six-year deal, worth $15.5, is worth every penny. His salary is second among defensive ends, and he is earning every dollar of it.

Ask Jonathan Vilma who benefited from Ellis smacking Mark Bulgerís pass into the air with his massive left paw. Vilma picked it off, then went the distance for a touchdown. Afterwards, Vilma got the hugs, the handshakes, and the chest bumps.

Ellis just quietly went to the sidelines, not looking for any glory.

Maybe nobody knew what happened on that play. But Ellis wasnít going to be the one to tell his teammates. Itís just part of his job and it's a job well done.

A job that might make Abraham expendable at the end of the year. How can this team sink big money in a guy who never plays in a the spot. Abraham will command more money than Ellis and with a serviceable Bryan Thomas gaining valuable playing time it is hard to believe the speed rusher will be signed for the future.

Best care scenario is that the Jets tag Abraham as their franchise player and then trade him for draft picks. With these picks, the team can address some more pressing needs. By saving money on the contract Abraham would want, the team could upgrade the secondary by bringing in FAís such as Washington CB Fred Smoot or a pass catching TE such as Green Bayís Bubba Franks.

Surely, Ellis is not expendable. And although Abraham will be headed to the Pro Bowl this season, his partner deserves it more. The Jets front office looks like they made the right move locking up Ellis first.

Just go ask Mark Bulger who was eaten alive by Ellis on Sunday.

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