New York Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum held a conference call with reporters Wednesday, a day after acquiring the 29th overall selection from the Atlanta Falcons in exchange for defensive end John Abraham. Tannenbaum delivered an opening statement before taking questions.
"Last month, we worked with several players to restructure their contracts," he said. "Without going into too much detail, the moves were made for two primary reasons: first we were able to retain some of our core players who we feel can make a strong contribution to the team, and in addition it gave us some flexibility under the salary cap as we moved into free agency."
With that flexibility the Jets have made several offseason moves. The latest was announced this afternoon when Tannenbaum said the Jets had reached agreement with WR-KR Tim Dwight. He talked about each player new to the Green & White roster and also discussed yesterday's blockbuster deal:
Patrick Ramsey –"We feel that he has significant untapped upside in his ability. He has had valuable experience in this league. He's smart, he's team-oriented. I think he will mesh well with the program, and he'll come in and compete for a position.
Kimo von Oelhoffen – "Kimo was a key member of the Pittsburgh defense that helped the Steelers win the Super Bowl. He's tough, he's consistent, he gives maximum effort, and he's a leader on and off the field."
Matt Chatham – "Matt is a versatile player, somebody who was with Coach Mangini on the three Super Bowl winning teams with the Patriots. He knows the system. He will increase the competitiveness at the linebacker position, and he'll be a key special teams player for us."
Tim Dwight – "I am also happy to announce that we have signed Tim Dwight. Tim gives us a punt returner and we also feel like he gives us a different type of receiver. He creates speed for the game and adds a change of pace element to our receiving group."
Jets Sign Dwight
Trade – "When we placed the franchise tag on John, we were fully prepared for him to remain a Jet. But when a trade was in the works, we made it clear to all parties that we were going to do whatever deal was in our best interest. In the end, we think the trade worked out best for everybody. We are very pleased with the compensation from Atlanta as well as through Denver. We're happy for John that he can move on and be with a team that he can have success with. I want to thank John for his valuable contributions to the team over the last few years, and I wish him and his family well."
Jets Officially Trade Abraham
The Jets were prepared to have Abraham on the team if he signed the franchise tender, but the club did not have any long-term contract negotiations with the three-time All Pro.
"We did franchise John. We had the intent that he would be here, playing on the franchise tender for this year," Tannenbaum said. "We felt like that was in the best interest of the team for the 2006 season. We were not prepared to anything more than that economically."
The Jets now own eight selections in April's draft and they could pick up more next week.
"We have two number one selections and three selections in the top 35," said Tannenbaum. "We have two fours. We'll see what happens next week with compensatory picks when we are at the league meetings."
Note: The Jets started their offseason workout program Monday and Tannenbaum said there has been 100 percent player participation thus far.