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Bad news for Ram fans hoping to get Abraham
Franchise tag likely for DE Abraham
BY KEN BERGER
January 18, 2005
Herman Edwards gave a passionate defense of John Abraham yesterday as indications grew stronger that the Jets have decided to place the franchise tag on their top defensive player.
Abraham has said he would be fine with receiving the tag, which would mean he'd sign a one-year deal for about $7 million with both sides keeping open the possibility of negotiating a long-term deal.
Edwards declined to address Abraham's contract status, and Abraham's agent, Tony Agnone, also wouldn't comment. But it is believed that the team already has decided to place the franchise tag on the defensive end, who had 9 1/2 sacks in 12 games before spraining the lateral collateral ligament in his right knee Dec. 5.
He missed the last four regular-season games and both playoff games, becoming a target for criticism from those who alleged Abraham was milking the injury to protect his chances of landing a big contract.
"He was doing everything in his power to come back and help us win, and he wasn't physically able to do that," Edwards said.
Edwards said with certainty, "John will be a Jet," but he declined to elaborate. General manager Terry Bradway will address the media today.
"This guy has come  degrees," Edwards said. "He's done everything he could to be a team guy."
Scope probable for Chad
It is likely that Chad Pennington will need at least an arthroscopic procedure on his right shoulder, but neither Edwards nor Pennington would confirm that. "Whatever is necessary for him to get 100 percent well, we're going to have to do," Edwards said.
Talks with Kareem on again
Offensive tackle Kareem McKenzie, a key unrestricted free agent whom the Jets would like to retain, said talks with the team have reopened. In November, McKenzie told his agents to cut off negotiations because of what he called a "miscommunication." McKenzie was under the impression that a five-year, $26-million deal was imminent then, but said the offer he got wasn't what he expected.
"As of right now, my options are wide open," McKenzie said.
Becht: I was misused
Tight end Anthony Becht (unrestricted free agent), who had a career-low 13 catches, was harshly critical of how he was utilized. He called the perception that he's an unreliable receiver "laughable."
"I have definitely given them everything they have allowed me to offer," Becht said. "That is the key word, 'allowed.' "
He had 26 passes thrown to him in the regular season. He caught 13 and dropped four.
NT Jason Ferguson, also unrestricted, is a top priority, defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson said. "We're working on that right now to try to get him signed. We've got to sign Fergie. We've just got to do it." ... DT Josh Evans (back surgery) said he's been medically cleared and hopes to re-sign.
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Re: Bad news for Ram fans hoping to get Abraham
Good, I don't want Abraham in St. Louis. I didn't like his sitting out at the end of the season.