You never want to lose good football players, but we feel that this is the best decision for our football team, in the short-term and the long-term. It was not an easy decision. At the same time it was an easy decision and a hard decision. The contract was a little hard to swallow in terms of the signing bonus, and the hard part of it was to lose Laveranues because he's a guy who has developed in our program. He blossomed in the last two years here under Coach Edwards and Coach Hackett's offensive system. From that standpoint, losing a young player, it's always hard. We hope in the best interest of the team, what we're going to be able to do for the future, that this is the direction that we wanted to go.
Laveranues was a restricted free agent that we put a first-round tender on. Prior to the combine in Indianapolis in February, Mike Tannenbaum flew to Fort Wayne, Indiana, visited Roosevelt Barnes, spent a night and day up there.
The first offer we made him would have made him the highest paid receiver in Jets history. Based on our market research at that point in time, we felt it was a fair offer. It was not our final offer.
We had good conversations with Roosevelt on a number of occasions, and the price that they were asking we felt was a little bit too high. We felt all along that negotiations would have proceeded in a typical fashion, and at some point we would have been at striking distance.
We also felt there was a chance with the talk of Atlanta looking for a receiver that Laveranues would have been a consideration in Atlanta. One of the reasons we put the first round tender on Laveranues and not the first and third was because we knew what the ceiling was for the agent in terms of what they were asking. As a result, we felt if we were backed into a corner at that number, that we could have stepped up and matched.
You know, little did we know that out of the blue would come an offer like Laveranues got. It's extremely rare for a team to pay more than a player asks. That doesn't happen very often. In this case, it did happen. As far as we were concerned, we did not expect that to happen.
We wished him well. I'm sure Laveranues will do well.
At the same time we have to worry about our football team and what
our team is going to look like. There's a concern about having all your
high-priced players on one side of the ball.
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