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Jets Designate Abraham as Franchise Player

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Courtesy Of The New York Jets

The New York Jets announced today that defensive end John Abraham has been designated as the Club’s franchise player. The announcement was made by Jets’ General Manager Mike Tannenbaum.

Abraham, 27, joined the Jets as a first-round draft choice in 2000 (the second of the team’s four first-rounds picks that season) out of the University of South Carolina. The 6-4, 258-pound native of Timmonsville, SC has played in 73 career regular season games, making 63 starts, and registered 328 tackles, along with 53.5 sacks, which represent the fourth-most sacks in team annals, trailing only Mark Gastineau (107.5), Joe Klecko (77.5) and Gerry Philbin (64.5).

“The franchise tag is one of the resources we have to protect ourselves in a competitive league,� said Tannenbaum. “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.�

In 2005, Abraham played in all 16 games, starting the final 15 contests, and finished the season with a team-high 10.5 sacks, as well as registering 67 tackles, a team-high six forced fumbles, two passes defensed and one fumble recovery.

Abraham has been selected to three Pro Bowls over the course of his first six NFL seasons, earning the nominations in 2001, 2002 and 2004. He has forced 18 fumbles throughout his career, to go along with five fumble recoveries and eight passes defensed.

The franchise tag gives Abraham the option to play for the Jets in 2006 for an average salary of the top five highest-paid players at his position. That figure is derived from the Collective Bargaining Agreement, which calls for a franchise player to be guaranteed a one-year offer equal to the average of the top five defensive ends’ (check position) salaries in the NFL for the previous season (2005 in this case). Under terms of the CBA, Abraham may negotiate with any other team in the NFL, but the Jets would retain the ability to match a contract offer. If Abraham is offered a contract that the Jets do not elect to match, the Jets would receive two first round draft choices in the NFL draft in return.

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