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Jets designate Abraham franchise player

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (Feb. 21, 2006) -- The Jets designated defensive end John Abraham as their franchise player, as expected.

Abraham was the team's franchise player last year and was unhappy with the situation. He waited until the end of training camp to sign his one-year tender, then played in all 16 games and had 10.5 sacks. Because he played an entire year without getting hurt, Abraham hoped the team would give him the long-term deal he wanted.

But instead, the team opted for the franchise tag again at a cost of $8.33 million for 2006, nearly $2 million more than last year. However, his chances of being on the team are up in the air. Because the Jets are going to be so far over the salary cap, they will explore the option of trading Abraham.

If he stays with the team, Abraham will sit out the offseason and camp once again.

"By franchising John, it speaks volumes about what type of player we feel he is, and we stand behind our decision, with the full realization that at this point in time it is in the best interest of the club from both a financial and competitive standpoint," general manager Mike Tannenbaum said in a statement.

Abraham's agent, Rich Rosa, didn't return a phone call seeking comment.

Abraham, a three-time Pro Bowl selection in six seasons, has 53.5 sacks, fourth on the team's all-time list.

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