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Jets Sign DT Pope

MONSANTO POPEThe New York Jets announced Monday they have signed unrestricted defensive lineman  Monsanto Pope. The announcement was made by Jets’ General Manager Mike Tannenbaum.

“Monsanto adds depth to our defensive line and will allow us to be more competitive at that position,” said Head Coach Eric Mangini. “He has a team-first mentality and has valuable experience on winning teams.”

The 6-3, 300-pound product of the University of Virginia has played in 48 regular season games, making 21 starts, over the course of his first four professional seasons (2002-2005) with the Denver Broncos. The native of Hopewell, VA has accumulated 80 tackles, six sacks for -32 yards, three passes defensed and one forced fumble during regular season play.

In 2004, the 2002 seventh round draft choice (#231 overall) moved into the starting lineup for the Broncos and posted a career-high in tackles (30) as the Broncos finished the season with the fourth-best run defense in the league (94.5 yards allowed per game). He has also appeared in two postseason games throughout his career, and made one start.

Pope, 27, tied a University of Virginia single-season career record for interior lineman with 98 tackles, including five sacks, as a senior in 2001 and followed it up on the professional level with a career-high four sacks in his rookie season of 2002.

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