NEW YORK (March 17, 2006) -- The New York Jets want to send disgruntled defensive end John Abraham to the Seattle Seahawks.
A person familiar with the negotiations, who didn't want to be identified because the talks were ongoing, said the Seahawks have presented the best trade package for Abraham: a first-round pick. Atlanta, which has also been talking to the Jets, is only willing to give up a second-rounder.
The source said the Jets are leaning toward Seattle because they want to get the most value for the three-time Pro Bowl selection.
But the situation is more complicated than making a trade happen. The Seahawks must come to an agreement on a long-term deal with Abraham, and that hasn't happened so far.
Abraham, who is from South Carolina, is believed to prefer Atlanta and spent the last two days there visiting with the team.
Abraham visited Seattle earlier this week, after being flown into town on owner Paul Allen's private plane. Abraham's agents, Rich Rosa and Tony Agnone, didn't return repeated phone calls seeking comment.
Seattle has other financial matters to deal with, which further complicates the issue. All-Pro guard Steve Hutchinson signed a $49 million, seven-year offer sheet with Minnesota. It included $16 million guaranteed.
But his future will be decided by an arbitration process, delaying the March 19 deadline for the team to match the offer. The NFL Players Association said the league has filed a claim on behalf of the Seahawks contending a clause in the offer sheet Hutchinson signed with the Vikings last weekend circumvents the league's labor contract.
That would mean that Seattle does not have to match that clause to keep Hutchinson, who is designated as their transition player. The clause in question would guarantee Hutchinson the entire contract sum if Hutchinson is not the team's highest-paid offensive lineman.
The Jets should have the upper hand in the situation since they still have the rights to Abraham. But it is apparent more conflict is brewing about where he goes.
New York placed the franchise tag on Abraham for the second straight year, but he has made it clear he wants out of New York. The Jets have also made it obvious that Abraham has no future with them.
The 27-year-old Abraham is unhappy the Jets have failed to deliver a long-term deal, even though they all but assured him they would if he played in every game in 2005. He did, but was given a one-year franchise tender.