NEW YORK (April 8, 2005) -- As the New York Jets opened their offseason program this week, one major player was notably absent.
Pro Bowl defensive end John Abraham didn't sign his tender as the Jets' franchise player, so he isn't allowed to participate in the team's program at its complex in Hempstead. Instead, Abraham was working out on his own, biding his time to see whether he would start 2005 with the Jets or another team.
"John's exploring the rights he has as a player, from a business standpoint he'd be foolish not to," said one of his agents, Rich Rosa. "He anticipates he'll be back with his teammates eventually. At this point he's going to continue to work within the system he is in."
Abraham expressed his frustrations with the organization when negotiations on a long-term contract broke down. He allowed the March 16 deadline for franchise players to sign their offers pass, keeping his free-agent status, and must wait until July to begin more talks.
Though Abraham wants to return and the Jets want him back, there is always the possibility of a trade if the price is right. Though that seems unlikely, Rosa said he wouldn't fault the Jets for listening to offers for their prized player.
"The Jets wouldn't be doing the right thing if they didn't," Rosa said. "If they have, that is good business. If you can get the right package, you can make a move. What the right package is I don't know. Any good organization is going to do that type of thinking."
Abraham has struggled to stay healthy throughout his five-year career, which might 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, but Rosa said Abraham is now 100 percent.
The Associated Press News Service
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