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 Post subject: Sources: Falcons pursuing deal to land Jets' Abraham
PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 1:27 am 
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ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Falcons are working hard to assemble the appropriate pieces of a trade package intended to lure prized defensive end John Abraham from the New York Jets, ESPN and ESPN.com have confirmed through league sources.


One significant road bump to a deal that, despite ongoing efforts from both sides, remains a long shot: The Falcons steadfastly refuse to include two-year veteran quarterback Matt Schaub, the player Jets officials regard as the centerpiece to any deal, in their trade proposals.


It is believed the Jets are seeking Schaub and the Falcons' second-round draft pick for Abraham.


Without the inclusion of Schaub, the backup to Michael Vick and a youngster whose résumé includes just two regular-season starts, the swap might never be consummated. But Atlanta in particular continues to pursue it and hopes to craft a package that might attract the Jets, but without having to surrender Schaub or the Falcons' first-round draft choice, the 15th overall selection in the lottery.


"There have been discussions, as in plural, but I don't know that it will happen," said one team official. "But [the two teams] are still plugging away."


That said, neither club seems prepared yet to end the talks, in part because the Falcons covet Abraham and because New York is determined to trade the veteran end, designated by the Jets as their franchise player for a second consecutive year.


Despite the speculation that the Jets will use the fourth overall pick on April 29 to choose one of the three highly regarded quarterback prospects in the 2006 draft, New York has apparently targeted Schaub as the young passer it really wants to land. The Jets recently restructured the contract of starting quarterback Chad Pennington to keep from having to release him for cap reasons. But uncertainty still surrounds Pennington, who had surgery in October to repair a torn right rotator cuff, his second such procedure in eight months.



Because of the Pennington situation, the Jets are seeking a younger player, one with starting potential.


A third-round draft choice in 2004, Schaub is highly regarded around the NFL and by Atlanta officials. The former University of Virginia standout has played in 11 games in two seasons, two of them starts, and has completed 66 of 134 attempts for 825 yards, with five touchdown passes, four interceptions and a passer rating of 68.8.


Schaub, 24, lost both his starts. But in a 31-28 loss to New England last Oct. 9 at the Georgia Dome, he threw for 298 yards and three touchdowns in an impressive outing. The defensive coordinator for New England in that game was Eric Mangini, who is the Jets' new head coach, and who obviously liked what he saw of Schaub that day.


Falcons officials are reluctant to part with Schaub for at least two reasons: First, they consider him a quality player and an eventual starter in the league. Second, team officials realize that Vick's derring-do style will always make him susceptible to injuries, and that Atlanta needs a solid backup capable of possibly starting a few games every season. The Falcons consider Schaub ideal for that role.


"We like [Schaub] and he plays a very important position," Falcons team president Rich McKay told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution earlier this week. "From our position, what it would take [to surrender Schaub in a trade] would have to be very strong."



That said, the Falcons would love to land Abraham, a high-energy defender who is viewed as one of the NFL's premier outside pass rushers. And whether New York deals Abraham to Atlanta or some other club, it's clear the six-year veteran will not be back with the Jets in 2006.

Abraham visited with Washington officials over the weekend and was set to be in Seattle for a Wednesday visit. It was announced last week that Abraham would meet with four teams, and Atlanta is believed to be among them.



The Jets last month designated Abraham a franchise player, essentially making him a one-year qualifying offer of $8.33 million, but also severely limiting his mobility in free agency. New York used the franchise tag a year ago, as well, to retain Abraham, and he missed the offseason programs and training camp before signing the one-year deal, worth $6.66 million just days before the start of the season.


Abraham has been saying for two years that he prefers a long-term contract but the two sides have not been able to strike a satisfactory deal. Any team that trades for Abraham will have to first reach agreement with him on a long-term contract. The Falcons have some history in trading for franchise players, having acquired franchise wide receiver Peerless Price from Buffalo in 2003 after reaching a long-term accord that included a $10 million signing bonus.


The Falcons also have a history in dealing with Abraham's agent, Tony Agnone, who represents Atlanta standout left defensive end Patrick Kerney. Teaming Kerney and Abraham would give the Falcons a terrific defensive end tandem.



Termed by Cleveland Browns coach Romeo Crennel as "head and shoulders" above any pass rusher available this offseason, Abraham certainly is a proven sack man. One of the Jets' four first-round selections in the 2000 draft, Abraham has consistently been among the top pass rushers in the NFL, when healthy. Limited to just 19 appearances in 2003-2004 because of injuries, Abraham, a three-time Pro Bowl performer, played in all 16 games for the Jets in 2005, only the third time in six years he has played a full schedule.


He registered 67 tackles, 10½ sacks, six forced fumbles, one recovery and two passes defensed. For his career, the former South Carolina star has 328 tackles, 53½ sacks, 18 forced fumbles, five recoveries and eight pass deflections in 73 games.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 2:00 pm 
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Schuab and a 2nd for possibly one of the last pieces we need to make a real Super Bowl run? Hell yes. We can find a servicable backup for Vick.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 2:25 pm 
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I like Schaub too, but McKay has to realize he's not going to be able to hang onto him forever. This trade should go through. Why is McKay being so stubborn!!!

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 Post subject: I agree!
PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 2:51 pm 
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you go the extra mile to get a pass rushing def end especially with none on the market and having to rely on a rookie(Hali) to get 10 sacks.If Mckay doesn't do this deal he is plain stupid! How do some people get there jobs! :roll:

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 3:07 pm 
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I tell ya, Schauby and a 2nd seems like a lot to me too. Maybe a 3rd pick instead, but we really need Abraham to push this defense to the elite level we all want it to be. Kerney, Coleman, and Abraham would be an absolutely sick DL. Then we already have an extremely deep LB corp. If we bring on Milloy and bolster the DB with our top draft pick, this defense could become very dominent. The offense isn't far from being really good, so having a defense that could keep us ahead of other teams would make this team extremely dangerous.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 4:05 pm 
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I trust McKay....he's a good GM...

He's probably just playing hard to get in an attemt to bleed the Jets a little more....

I have a feeling with all this chatter that has surfaced about this deal in the last few days that something is going to happen relatively soon....


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 4:35 pm 
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Well, we better get on this soon.....

Redskins | Close to trading Ramsey?
Wed, 15 Mar 2006 11:14:04 -0800

David Elfin, of the Washington Times, reports the Washington Redskins and the New York Jets were believed to be in talks to complete the trade of QB Patrick Ramsey to the Jets for a 2006 draft pick late Tuesday, March 14.


Jets | Close to trading for Ramsey?
Wed, 15 Mar 2006 11:13:59 -0800

David Elfin, of the Washington Times, reports the Washington Redskins and the New York Jets were believed to be in talks to complete the trade of QB Patrick Ramsey to the Jets for a 2006 draft pick late Tuesday, March 14.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 5:22 pm 
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Pudge/Dirty... anyone know the type of contract Abraham will command??? This could also be a determining factor to the situation...

In the end, if they have their eyes set on Schaub, and they're ging to have to move Abraham eventually, then we should have the upperhand in the negotiations... we should push for Schaub and a 3rd...

Either way, we need a guy like Abraham opposite Kerney


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 6:18 pm 
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I was reading posts on espn's board and i dont know how reliable people over there are but, I heard possibly Abraham and their 1st, for schuab and our 1st and 2nd picks. So we would still be giving our second pick to them but increasing our first.. After that I think we could trade down a bit and get Huff? Anyone else hear this or is it just a made up rumor?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 6:23 pm 
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I was the one that posted that on the ESPN boards....

I heard this on the radio this morning...I don't know how reliable that is, they could have been just speculating but from the way it sounded it looked like this was a deal we offered the Jets...

take it for what it's worth I guess...I don't really think that sounds like something reasonable to me but I'd be happy if it happened...


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 9:40 pm 
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Here's some more info. The whole article is worth reading. It's all about this deal.

"Mora and McKay have said that Schaub is not untouchable but his value to the Falcons - especially since Vick tends to get injured and there are no other experienced backup quarterbacks on the roster - is high enough that, at this time, they aren't willing to swap him for a player of Abraham's caliber."

http://www.ajc.com/sports/content/sport ... lcons.html


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 1:58 pm 
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I think Abraham's contract will be somewhere around 6-yrs. $40 million with anywhere between $16-18 million guaranteed.

No way the Jets include the #4 overall pick in their deal. No way would they pass up on the potential to get a player like A.J. Hawk or D'Brickashaw Ferguson, or one of the RBs or QBs in the draft.

Frankly speaking, I think this deal is going to boil down to the Jets sending a draft pick to Atlanta as part of it. Maybe a 3rd, maybe a 4th or something. But I don't think McKay wants to give up Schaub without getting a draft pick in return so they can be in a better position to get someone like Drew Olson to replace him.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 2:51 pm 
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I say, we trade Schaub, and a 3rd, and get Abraham. What is Schaub helping this team with on the bench?...Sure, you can say that IF Vick got hurt, but you cant rely on "If's" like that.

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