It's official: Abraham franchised

The New York Jets announced today that Pro Bowl defensive end John Abraham has been designated as the Club's franchise player.<p>

Abraham, 26, joined the Jets as a first-round draft choice in 2000 (the second of the team's four first-rounds picks that season) out of the University of South Carolina. The 6-4, 256-pound native of Timmonsville, SC has played in 57 career regular season games, making 48 starts, and registered 261 tackles, along with 43 sacks which places him in a tie with former Jets' defensive lineman Marty Lyons for the seventh most sacks in team history. Abraham started the first 12 games of the 2004 season and recorded 48 tackles and nine-and-a-half sacks, which led all NFL players through week 12, before suffering a sprained lateral collateral ligament in his right knee against the Houston Texans on December 5.

"John has been a tremendous player for us," said Jets GM Terry Bradway. "He'll be a big part of our defense next year."

In 2004, Abraham was selected to his third Pro Bowl, also having earned nominations in both 2001 and 2002. He has forced 12 fumbles throughout his career, to go along with four fumble recoveries and six passes defensed.

The franchise tag gives Abraham the option to play for the Jets in 2005 for an average salary of the top five highest-paid players at his position. That figure is derived from the Collective Bargaining Agreement, which calls for a franchise player to be guaranteed a one-year offer equal to the average of the top five defensive ends' salaries in the NFL for the previous season (2004 in this case). Under terms of the CBA, Abraham may negotiate with any other team in the NFL, but the Jets would retain the ability to match a contract offer. If Abraham is offered a contract that the Jets do not elect to match, the Jets would receive two first round draft choices in the NFL draft in return.

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