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AP: Jets Expect Abraham Back


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Jets Expect Abraham Back for 2005

Apr 14, 4:42 PM (ET) Email this Story


HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) - Even though John Abraham is unsigned, the New York Jets expect him to play for them in 2005.

Abraham didn't sign his $6.7 million franchise tender before the March 16 deadline and is barred from offseason training with the team. The Pro Bowl defensive end is working out on his own, waiting for talks to begin again after a four-month blackout period.

Though Abraham has expressed his frustration at not signing a long-term deal, Jets general manager Terry Bradway said Wednesday the team still has a good relationship with Abraham and his representatives.

"We don't take any of this personal," Bradway said. "We expect John to be playing for us in '05. He is not under contract. We have his rights. He is not obligated to come to the offseason or minicamp or training camp. We understand that's part of the rules.

"To say it's acrimonious ... at least from our standpoint, we're not."

Abraham has struggled to stay healthy throughout his five-year career, which may be one of the reasons why the Jets are hesitant to make a long-term commitment. He missed the final four regular-season games and two playoff games last season after spraining his right knee.

Coach Herman Edwards hasn't spoken with his star defensive player. When asked whether he would rather have Abraham with the team, Edwards said, "Rather have a lot of things. But he's not here."

Bradway also said he hasn't received any trade inquiries for Abraham, and reiterated several times he doesn't foresee any deals happening. But when asked whether he could guarantee Abraham would be back, Bradway said, "How can you say anything in this league isn't a possibility?"

Fullback Jerald Sowell also isn't participating in the offseason training program for undisclosed reasons.

Meanwhile, Chad Pennington continues to rehab his right shoulder after offseason rotator cuff surgery. Edwards said he expects his franchise quarterback to begin throwing in June.

"He's doing well, working out a bit, not throwing the ball obviously, but doing some conditioning stuff," Edwards said. "He's been in meetings, quarterback meetings four times a week, so he's been here every day. He's doing well. He's doing everything he can do to come back and participate."

Another player who might be around to participate is veteran cornerback Ty Law, who as released by the Patriots in February. Law was the first player Edwards ever graded, back when he was a scout for the Kansas City Chiefs in 1995.

When asked whether he had spoken to Law, Edwards coyly said, "Have I talked to him? Maybe."

Law broke his foot and missed the last 12 games of last season, and continues to rehab his injury. Edwards wouldn't rule out the possibility of signing Law when he is healthy. Cornerback is an area of need for the Jets.

"There's always interest in good players when they are not on a team," Edwards said. "Obviously he's a guy that is a heck of a football player."

Offensive tackle is another area of need after Kareem McKenzie signed with the Giants as a free agent. The Jets said second-year player Adrian Jones would play at right tackle this season, filling McKenzie's spot. Though Jones practiced mostly at left tackle last season, the Jets feel he can be an effective starter.


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