Mike Tannenbaum News Conference

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Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum's news conference with New York Jets reporters Thursday night on the trade of Pete Kendall to Washington:     

I am here to say that the trade for Pete is now official. He did report and pass [his physical] and we have just been made aware of that a couple of minutes ago. That consummates the conditions of the trade.

On if he was concerned about Pete Kendall passing the physical because of his shoulder …

No, it was more of a perfunctory NFL report-and-pass. He did pass and all of the conditions have been met. He took the Redskins' physical, so according to them, he passed.

On what the Jets received in this trade …

We are happy with the value we got. I can't go into specifics except to say that we were pleased with the value we received from Washington.

On if Kendall became available because of the Redskins offer …

I'm not going to comment on the specifics of trade talks we've had, or those from the past, except to say that this time of year [director of player personnel] Terry Bradway, [assistant director of player personnel] JoJo Wooden and [director of pro personnel] Brendan Prophett have done a great job from the pro personnel standpoint. Your job is constantly talking to other teams about where you think you may have some holes and what their needs are and you will see if there is a good match.

Obviously, the Pete situation has drawn league-wide attention, so that may have raised the level of curiosity some teams may have had. We talked to Washington and it happened fairly quickly. We felt comfortable with the value. If it weren't for the value we received, Pete would still be with us.

On if Kendall's departure creates a hole at left guard …

I think it creates an opportunity, be it for Jacob Bender, Adrien Clarke and Adrian Jones. Something that we are committed to is going by what we see and the best players will play and that could be someone on our team. We're also committed, I've said this before, through Sept. 8, to try to improve this roster. I think Eric [Mangini] and I have demonstrated a track record of this, be it the way of the latter, trades and signings. We not only look to improve the offensive line but any position we think can help the team between now and Sept. 8.

On how Kendall handled the news …

I had a great talk with Pete last night. He had a really good talk with Eric as well. I thanked him for his years of service and he gave us three good years. His first year he came in here and I remember what he did against Cincinnati and we were off to the races, Curtis [Martin] won the rushing title.

He gave us three great years and I thanked him for that and, obviously, we got into a situation here where there were hard feelings about certain issues and it played out the way it did. We were comfortable still having him on the roster. We think the end result is good for him, good for the Redskins and is good for us. I thanked him and now we're moving forward with the players we have on the roster.

On whether Kendall would have remained on the roster if the trade did not come up …

Absolutely. It was because of the value we got in this trade. If it weren't for that value, he'd still be here.

On what he learned from this situation…

I don't want to get into the specifics. I think there are always two sides to every story. I have a lot of respect for Pete and the three years he gave us. Obviously, there were some misunderstandings along the way. Personally, I try to learn from my experiences. We look at things and see what we could have done different, better, or how things could have unfolded differently.

We pride ourselves in being prepared, being good communicators, good listeners, and working hard to try to come up with scenarios that work for both sides. For whatever reason, Pete felt the way he did and you would have to speak to Pete on why he felt that way. I know our side of the story and I'm comfortable with it. I wish him well and we are moving forward.

On doing things differently if he had the chance…

We are very comfortable in where we ended up today and the value we got for the player. From an experience standpoint, I don't know if anything we did would have changed the result of where we are today. We are trying to make sure we are doing a good job of listening to our players, to the agents, and trying to work hard to make sure we are creating a good environment for our players to be successful. I'm proud of where our program is today. We have a great coaching staff that has developed good players. So we are going to move forward and wish Pete well.

On if the move is a reaction to Kendall's comments …

The easy way for us, if that were the case, we would have moved on from Pete in minicamp — we didn't do that. We did what was best for the organization and Pete was here for a long time. Pete had a position here, a position on the offensive line, and it was only when we felt there was good value for the Jets that we made the decision to do that. If it wasn't for the value, he'd still be here like he had been throughout the entire off-season.

On if he would handle things the same way if he did it over again …

You would have to ask Pete his side of the story relative to us. I'm comfortable with how we reacted. I know we acted in good faith and there was a misunderstanding, a miscommunication. That's apparent. You would have to ask Pete about his feelings. I can just speak for the organization in saying that he gave us three years of playing. We thank him for that. We wish him well and we're moving forward with Jacob Bender, Adrien Clarke, Adrian Jones and Wade Smith. We are going to play the Giants this Saturday and move forward.

On if the players feel like a message was sent that they are not valued …

I can tell you why we made the move. We made the move because we thought that it was in the best interests of the team, but that's why we are always trying to acquire certain types of players, the type that can help us win for a long period of time. Why a player might feel the way he did, you'd have to ask him.

On whether the starting left guard is currently on the roster …

Through Sept. 8 we are going to work tirelessly to try and add good players. It could be at another position or it could be on the offensive line. I can't tell you that. We will put the best players on the field to play the Patriots on opening day. Where they come from is hard to say. Our coaches are really good at integrating new players into the system. We have that added advantage here at the Jets, to go out and get players that may not be on the roster, give them a chance to get acclimated, and be productive quickly.

On the comfort level at left guard …

We are encouraged by some of the things we have seen. The solution could come from within or from without. We see players added all the time on short notice. It's going to be players that are outside versus the players that are inside and, from a competition standpoint, who gives us the best chance [to win].

On trading Kendall …

In the salary cap system, you have to look at the totality of the information to make the best decision for your team, both short-term and long-term. I fall back on the relationship that I have with Eric where every night we are looking at the roster, today, tomorrow, short term, long term, contract status, salary cap information, and taking the totality of that information and trying to make the best decision. Not the easy decision, but the best decision, taking in all those factors — ascending players, descending players, the contract status of that respective position group —and weighing in all of those factors when we feel like we got significant value for the player. We thought the right decision for the Jets was to go ahead and make the trade. It wasn't necessarily the easiest decision, but the right decision.

On OL Jacob Bender ...

There are a lot of things that we like about him: his work ethic and physicality at the line of scrimmage. There are a lot of attributes that we like about him.

On comments made by Kendall that Mangini is not happy with his own contract ...

I wasn't part of that conversation, so it wouldn't be fair for me to comment. I talk to Eric quite a bit. All of my conversations with Eric remain private and anything that may have been said or may not have been said between Pete and Eric, I will leave to those two.

On whether he believes Mangini would have shared his own contract information with Kendall …

I know Eric to be a guy that is honest, straightforward and will tell you what he is thinking.

On criticism from trading Kendall …

We are trusted to do what is best for the team. He'd been on the team for a while and gave us three good years. We made a decision that we felt, given all of the information, was the right decision for the franchise both short-term and long-term. We think Pete was productive, healthy and contributed here. Everything that would look to manifest itself would say he was treated well here. There was a significant difference of opinion about his contractual status for this year. I respect Pete. He is entitled to his opinion and we will leave it at that.

On whether Kendall's vocal displeasure led to his departure …

We were always going to act on what is in our best interests. After he made his comments during minicamp, I saw them then, but we didn't release him. That wasn't going to be what drove the decision. What was going to drive the decision was the value. If not for that value, he would have been here. The only way I can demonstrate that to you is from the time he spoke in minicamp until Aug. 23, he was a Jet.

We moved ahead methodically, in a well-thought-out manner, and we communicated a lot. I communicated quite a bit with Neil Schwartz [Kendall's agent] — probably a bit more than I would want to [laughs]. We didn't react to anything he did. When an opportunity presented itself, we went ahead and made the trade. We can go back to minicamp — he was a Jet and he was rotating like a lot of the players were rotating.

On whether Kendall would have been traded if there were no contractual dispute …

We have made trades in the past and I anticipate making trades in the future, but you have to look at all of the factors in the salary cap system such as how long a player is under contract for. It's not unlike where we agreed to trade for Thomas Jones in addition to getting that contract extended and one wasn't going to work without the other. We weren't going to give up the value for Thomas Jones without having him sign an extension.

There are a lot of variables within the salary cap system and it's not necessarily about him not enjoying his contract. It's more about where he fits in short-term, long-term, and getting the value we have. It was more about how we viewed the team and the position over the 2007-08 season. That's a real benefit to Eric's attention to detail, his understanding of the system and us going back and forth every night, looking at the team and how we can move the pieces around to give us the best chance to be successful.

On comments made by Kendall that he would not have played hurt for the Jets this season …

I can just go by my own personal experience and say I have seen him play hurt. I would cross that bridge when we got to it because sometimes people speak out of emotion. Based on the track record, when I saw Pete first-hand and some of the injuries he had in the past, I have a lot of respect for him. He was a good player for us for three years. We accomplished some significant achievements collectively and we wish him well. We did what we thought was in the best interest of the team. It wasn't about a comment or two or a hypothetical. Given all of the information we had, we thought this was the right thing for us to do.

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