Mr. September Must Go

By Chistopher Mayone
Jets Staff Writer
April 5th, 2005
This is the position most Jets fans are used to seeing John Abraham during a big game. (Jets Photo)
This is the position most Jets fans are used to seeing John Abraham during a big game. (Jets Photo)
Not only is he soft, he is a liar too.

New York Jets DE John Abraham was supposed to sign a one-year deal for $6.7 million, the average salary of the top five players at his position once he was tagged a franchise player by the only team that he has ever called home. It was supposed to be just a formality. He did afterall tell the press this in December.

It’s only fair. The two-time Pro Bowl, but oft-injured Abraham regularly disappears once the weather turns cold. He doesn’t deserve the long-term deal DE Shaun Ellis received earlier this year. The reason? Ellis is dependable and is consistently on the field throughout the season. A sack in October means nothing, and that’s when Abraham does his damage.

If it’s a big game, dishonest Abe is usually watching from the sidelines. During his five NFL seasons, he has only made it through a full season twice (2001-2002). Not to mention Abraham has played in less than half of season twice (six games in 2000, seven in 2003). Add a DWI during the 2003 season and you have a guy who must be wearing some big pants to turn down such a lucrative one-year deal.

With that being said, Gang Green now appears to be exploring trade options before the seriously start to negotiate a contract extension with Abraham.

With a formidable backup in DE Bryan Thomas, Abraham must be dealt. There’s a strong chance Thomas will be starting in Abraham’s spot in December anyway. Trading Abraham would allow the team to address more that one need in the upcoming draft. Looking at the depth chart…there are gaping holes at offensive tackle, defensive tackle, and tight end due to the free agent defections of OT Kareem McKenzie, DT Jason Ferguson and TE Anthony Becht this offseason. These positions will undoubtedly be a draft priority later this month along with addressing a dicey secondary that includes 31-year old CB Donnie Abraham a hot and cold S Reggie Tongue and a glass like fragile S Jon McGraw.

This team is built to win now. If they could swing two first-round draft choices in exchange for Abraham to inject more young, promising talent into the lineup, the Jets could be ready for a Super Bowl run.

For argument sake, lets consider the Dallas Cowboys as a potential suitor for Abraham. Head coach Bill Parcells is a perfect candidate to raid the team of Abraham. He drafted him back in 2000 and has one of Abraham’s former line mates, DT Jason Ferguson, in his ear selling him on the speed rusher. Parcells is also in a win-now mode and doesn’t want to wait around for draft picks to develop. The Cowboys’ handling of projected quarterback of the future, Drew Henson, is evidence of their win-now mentality. The club invested big money in veteran QB Drew Bledsoe to handle the reins of the starting offense next season.

In return for Abraham, the Jets would receive the No. 11 and No. 20 overall selections from Dallas, in addition to their original No. 26 pick.

At the No. 11 slot, Florida State OT Alex Barron would be a great fit and his addition would sure up QB Chad Pennington’s backside for the remainder of his career and allow OT Jason Fabini to go back to his original position at right tackle to finish his career. It could be interesting here if Auburn’s RB Carnell “Cadillac” Williams is available. With RB Curtis Martin likely retiring in the next few years, Williams would be primed to handle the workload. Sounds unnecessary with the team just inking former Kansas City Chiefs RB Derrick Blaylock, but he is certainly not viewed as the heir to the throne at the position.

With the two late-round picks, Virginia’s TE Heath Miller could be a viable option at the No. 20 pick. It is a realistic projection, as the NFL clubs holding picks 21-25 have no immediate need for a tight end. Of course, the draft is a crapshoot and a team like the Steelers could decide to trade up to snag Miller. University of Southern California DL Shaun Cody will be there at 20, if the Jets decide to plug the hole at defensive tackle. Then the Jets could nab Miller at 26.

All of these promising options in exchange for a few quarterback sacks in September. Where can general manager Terry Bradway sign up?

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