Free agency notebook

The Jets didn't seem to have a lot of interest in free agent Kevin Shaffer.

The former Atlanta Falcon was considered by some to be the premier left tackle on the open market. He signed with the Cleveland Browns. But according to a source close to Shaffer, the Jets showed almost no interest in the Tulsa product. You have to question Shaffer somewhat because the Falcons made almost no attempt to re-sign him. One reason Shaffer might not have been on the Jets' radar is that he wanted a reported $5-6 million a year.

The Jets instead have turned their attention to former Tennessee Titan tackle Brad Hopkins. Hopkins has been in the league so long he spent some time with the Houston Texans. However, the 35-year-old can clearly still play, and could be the blindside- protection the Jets desperately need for quarterback Chad Pennington and his twice- repaired right shoulder.

"He is very athletic," said one source close to the Titans. "He won't maul you, but has great feet. He made the Pro Bowl two seasons ago in his 10th season in the league." . . .

The Denver Broncos are interested in Jets free-agent tight end Chris Baker. The Jets still have interest in re-signing Baker, but told him to go out in the open market and see what type of offers he will get, and then come back to them. He's still not 100-percent healed from a broken leg suffered last season . . .

New England Patriots free-agent linebacker Matt Chatham visited the Jets on Saturday. Also in for a visit is Patriots free-agent offensive tackle Tom Ashworth. Chatham is an excellent special teams player, who might have starting potential. At 6-4, 250 pounds, he has ideal size to play outside linebacker in the Jets new 3-4 system.

As for Ashworth, if signed he would give the Jets a player who could start at either left or right tackle. But buyer beware; Ashworth has had back problems in the past.

Also in for a visit was former New England, Miami and New Orleans safety TeBucky Jones. He's not much of a coverage safety, but he's superb against the run . . .

The NFL and Madison Square Garden have buried the hatchet, and the draft will be back at an MSG property. Last year, as you may recall, the league pulled the draft out of The Theatre at Madison Square Garden since Cablevision, the parent company of MSG, lobbied hard to stop the Jets' plan to construct a West Side Stadium in Manhattan.

But now all is forgiven. However, the draft will not be in the The Theatre at Madison Square Garden, but at another Cablevision property – Radio City Music Hall. This will be great for the fans since Radio City has more seats . . .

The Jets-Mets channel – SportsNet New York will debut this week, and there was an interesting announcement last week regarding a show that will appear on the cable channel. The New York Daily News will have a weekly program featuring their sportswriters. This could turn out to be a headache for the Jets. After all, two of their biggest critics – Rich Cimini and Gary Myers – will be regulars on this show . . .

There has been a lot of talk connecting former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh McCown to the Jets. But according to a source close to McCown, the signal-caller doesn't have much interest in Gang Green because of the team's ugly offensive line situation. McCown took quite a beating out in the desert, and is trying to avoid a similar situation on his new team . . .

Redskins coach Joe Gibbs, one of the best evaluators of quarterbacks in NFL history, wants nothing to do with Patrick Ramsey. So maybe the Jets should take heed of this, and stay away. Ramsey isn't particularly mobile, and the aforementioned line issues with the Jets, could make him a bad match for the team. The Jets are talking with the Redskins about trading for the signal-caller.

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