The agents for New York Jets Pro Bowl defensive end John Abraham are seeking a long-term deal for their client, and that deal will most likely have to come via trade. But, contrary to a rumor that was picking up steam late this week, the Vikings are not among the teams in the bidding for Abraham's services, Rich Rosa, one of Abraham's representatives, told Viking Update Friday afternoon.
"That would be a rumor to me," Rosa said. "I haven't heard anything from the Jets nor the Vikings."
Abraham's agents aren't allowed to work on a long-term deal with the Jets until at least mid-July, Rosa said, since Abraham did not sign the franchise-tag contract the team placed on him. He isn't participating in the Jets' offseason program. The franchise tag would pay him an average of the top five defensive ends from last year, giving him a one-year deal for $6,666,000. Abraham is in search a long-term deal, but Rosa wouldn't indicate what kind of financial terms they are seeking.
A report in the New York Daily News connected a potential Abraham trade with the Dallas Cowboys and the Minnesota Vikings, citing coaches who are familiar with Abraham. Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells was the general manager of the Jets when they drafted Abraham, and Vikings defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell coached Abraham in New York.
Rosa's comments dismissed the Vikings' interest, and with Abraham reportedly seeking some $20 million in guarantees the price would seem a bit high for the Vikings in an offseason when they've already added five defensive starters via free agency and trades.
In order for a trade to take place, a team would have to first come to an agreement with Abraham and then reach satisfactory compensation with the Jets. Another rumor had the Vikings' 18th overall pick as a possibility, but the Jets would likely require more than that for a three-time Pro Bowler.
"Under the current system, we're actively talking to teams because if you have the ability to trade, that's what you do with the franchise tag if you want to get out," Rosa said. "We were trying to secure a long-term contract with the Jets, and any team that he would be traded to, we'd want a multiple-year contract in place."
The Vikings are currently projecting second-year players Kenechi Udeze, a first-round draft pick, and Darrion Scott, a third-round draft pick, as their starting defensive ends.
Abraham was originally the 13th overall selection n the 2000 draft, a pick the Jets acquired in the Keyshawn Johnson trade. He had 48 tackles and 9.5 sacks in 2004 despite missing the final four regular-season games and both playoff games with a sprained knee.
He has 43 sacks and 261 tackles in 48 career starts. He has had a checkered injury history in his five seasons and was arrested for driving while intoxicated in 2003, pleading guilty to a lesser charge of driving while impaired to avoid potential jail time.
Agent Shoots Down Trade Rumor
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