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[Jets] Jets' Chrebet Has No Plans to Retire
By ANDREA ADELSON
AP Sports Writer
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) -- His role has diminished and so have his numbers, but Jets receiver Wayne Chrebet is happy.
He is healthy, no longer battling the effects of postconcussion syndrome. And he is thrilled to be a part of a team fighting for a playoff spot. Though he is in his 10th season with the Jets, Chrebet has no plans of retiring anytime soon.
"A third of my life has been in this locker room," Chrebet said this week. "This is where I want to be."
The decision might be out of his hands. Because the 31-year-old Chrebet has a smaller role these days, the Jets might cut him in March, when he is set to make a $400,000 roster bonus. Chrebet is scheduled to make $1 million in 2005, a lot of money for a role player.
Chrebet does not want to think about donning another uniform, brushing aside questions about his future with the team until after the Jets complete their season.
"I'm a Jet. I've been a Jet my whole career and I plan on being a Jet more," Chrebet said. "I can't think about that stuff now. It wouldn't be fair to myself or my teammates to go out there thinking that way. I need to be completely focused on the task at hand, which is obviously making plays to get us to the playoffs.
"When the season's over and I have time to sit down, we'll see what happens then. But it's not something I need to be thinking about right know. There's a lot of football left."
Of all the receivers in the NFL, only Troy Brown of New England and Isaac Bruce of St. Louis have been with their teams longer than Chrebet. Coincidentally, Bruce and the Rams play Chrebet and the Jets on Sunday, with playoff hopes on the line for both teams.
Having a chance to make the playoffs again means so much to Chrebet, especially after last season. Not only did the Jets go 6-10, but Chrebet was limited to seven games because of postconcussion syndrome. Chrebet came back this season knowing one more hit to the head could end his career.
He also returned knowing he would be the No. 3 receiver behind Santana Moss and Justin McCareins.
"When you're a competitive guy like Wayne, you just want a chance to be able to do the things you've normally done for some years," Moss said. "This is what he loves, this is what he's been doing for 10 years now. It's hard to leave it if you still have it in you. He's still shown he has it in him. Regardless of the situation, for him to handle it that way was great.
"You can learn from that. You can look at him and say this is how he handled the situation. He still hung in there and fought with us every week."
Because of Chrebet's new role, the numbers have gone down dramatically. Chrebet has 29 receptions for 379 yards and a touchdown this season, but he has gone without a catch in four games.
The last time Chrebet was held without a reception in a game was 2001 against Miami. His previous low was two games without a catch in 1997.
"I don't think my ability has decreased," Chrebet said. "I'm not on the field as much as I used to be. The opportunities have decreased, but when I got a chance I made my plays. Whatever role I can play at this point in my career that's what I want to do. I love playing football. I feel good. I just think I've got a lot of football left in me."
In what could have been his last home game with the Jets last week against New England, a video tribute played on the scoreboard. Chrebet had no idea it was planned and missed it. When told about it, Chrebet said, "It was like it was a eulogy or something, like I was gone."
Not if Chrebet has anything to say about it.
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