A trade of Jets defensive end John Abraham is "pretty much done," according to an NFL source, but that transaction along with many others by the Jets and other teams continued to be impacted by the league's growing labor crisis.
Details of the swap were sketchy -- the trading partner and what the Jets would get in return for dealing their disgruntled sackmaster were unspecified. But this much is known: An Abraham trade won't help the Jets get under the salary cap by today's 10 p.m. deadline.
By one accounting, the Jets are $11.1 million over the projected cap of $94.5 million, and a large portion of that figure is the $8.33 million for the franchise tag they pinned on Abraham for the second straight year.
But the Jets can't trade Abraham until the start of the NFL's new calendar year at midnight, meaning they must clear money by this afternoon in other ways.
They could do it by releasing center Kevin Mawae, guard Pete Kendall or both. Mawae is due to count slightly less than $4.5 million under the cap, Kendall slightly more. There are also talks aimed at reducing the cap figures of wide receiver Laveranues Coles, defensive tackle Dewayne Robertson and others.The Jets also will reluctantly allow tight end Chris Baker to become an unrestricted free agent Friday.
Abraham, Jets set to part ways <Mar. 2> According to ESPN.com's Len Pasquarelli, Abraham is ready to move on from the Jets and has already begun exploring his options. "Right now we are in the process of not only looking at the Jets, but we are also looking at the possibility of a trade," Abraham's agent, Tony Agnone said. "We are exploring other possibilities along with the Jets. We feel John probably will not be back in New York."
Agnone has tried to contact every team in the league and there are four or five teams showing serious interest, but he has not started negotiations with those teams.
The feeling appears to be mutual as the Jets, who designated Abraham a franchise player for the second consecutive year, have been offering him in trade talks during the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, and have discussed potential scenarios with a number of teams.
While no deal appears imminent, the Redskins and Broncos have emerged as potential landing spots for the disgruntled defensive end.
The Broncos are looking to replace released DE Trevor Pryce might be Abraham, The Denver Post speculates, but it's doubtful the team will be able to accommodate Abraham's $8.33 million salary without making another round of cost-cutting moves.
According to ESPN.com's Len Pasquarelli, the Jets were offering Abraham in trade talks during the NFL scouting combine. Although the Jets have discussed potential scenarios with a number of teams, it's believed the talks have not moved to the substantive stage with any suitors.
Among the teams with whom the Jets have spoken are the Redskins and the Broncos, reports Pasquarelli.