Vinny T's days as a Jet almost over

Vinny Testaverde's five-year tenure with the Jets will end sometime next week - likely on June 2.<p>

While it's no secret that Testaverde and the Jets will part ways on or after June 2, the quarterback's camp hasn't been thrilled with the organization for not letting them contact other teams prior to this date. Testaverde isn't the only quarterback who will be playing elsewhere after June 2. Other signal-callers in a similar situation are the St. Louis Rams' Kurt Warner and the Cleveland Browns' Tim Couch. But those quarterbacks have been allowed to have conversations with possible suitors, while Testaverde wasn't granted such permission.

Why? After all, Jets coach Herman Edwards has said repeatedly this off-season about Testaverde's future, "It's up to Vinny."

So if it's up to Vinny, why wasn't he been allowed to contact other teams? The Jets refuse to say why, but one theory floated by a source close to Testaverde, is that the Jets didn't want him talking to New England sooner than necessary.

While the Dallas Cowboys have long been considered the top candidate for Testaverde's services, the rumors are heating up that the veteran quarterback could be headed to New England.

The Patriots don't have a veteran backup after deciding not to re-sign Brock Huard. While Rohan Davey has played very well in NFL Europe, Patriots coach Bill Belichick will likely want a veteran backup to Tom Brady along with Davey.

Belichick would be a good fit in New England because he is comfortable in the Charlie Weis' offense.

But if the Jets don't want Testaverde on the team anymore, why would they care if the quarterback talked to New England before his likely June 2 release date. They probably did not want him relaying information on the Jets to a division rival sooner then necessary. If Testaverde does sign in New England, there is not doubt, Belichick and his staff will pick his brain about the team's personnel and playbook. Coaches spend a big chunk of the off-season game-planning for the next season.

So where will Testaverde land after his release next week? While the Patriots are reportedly very interested, the Cowboys still have to be considered the leading candidate. Testaverde wants a chance to start, and with New England there is no chance of that with Brady on board. In Dallas, however, starter Quincy Carter is on shaky ground.

By releasing Testaverde on or after June 2, the Jets can prorate the remaining part of his signing bonus over two years instead of one. This will give them cap relief.

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