Jump to content

Jets news 6/6/08

Kentucky Jet

Recommended Posts




Post Staff Report

June 5, 2008 --

The New York JetsNew York Jets today release this transcript from Chris BakerChris Baker . The tight end in in attendance at minicamp even though he is unhappy with his contract status.

On how it feels to be at mini-camp

Link to comment
Share on other sites




Not a happy camper.

June 6, 2008 -- We've all seen this movie before.

A JetsNew York Jets player is unhappy with his contract situation and the team is completely ignoring him. The player skips the voluntary offseason programs but turns up for the first day of mandatory minicamp and publicly spouts off about his displeasure with the organization.

No, Pete Kendall was nowhere near Weeb Ewbank Hall yesterday. The former Jets starting left guard has happily moved on to the Redskins, who traded for him last summer after a long, hot training camp of railing on Jets management gained him his exit papers.

Yesterday was Chris Baker's turn, and the whole thing is eerily familiar.

The starting tight end is upset at a promise he said was made by GM Mike Tannenbaum to revisit his contract after he had a career-best season last year with 41 catches. Baker, a more low-key personality than the loquacious Kendall, didn't come out with guns blazing after yesterday's morning minicamp session, but he did get his point across.

The juiciest tidbit was Baker's assessment of the ill effect the Kendall mess had on the team last year en route to a 4-12 finish.

"His situation was ridiculous and it basically tanked our season last year," Baker said. "Hopefully I don't get put in that same situation. I want to be here, but it looks like we're going down that same road."

Baker, who's in the third year of a four-year $6.6 million contract and is due to make a $683,000 base this year, is disgusted at the prospect of being the third-highest-paid TE on the roster, which is what he will be once rookie first-round draft pick Dustin Keller signs. Bubba Franks was signed to a one-year free-agent deal this offseason for $1.65 million, which is what Baker's contract averages out to per year.

"Let me ask you a question: If Coach Mangini was the third-highest paid coach on the staff, you think he would be happy about that? You think he would allow that to happen? That's how I feel," Baker said.

Baker said his agent at the time, Cliff Brady (Baker has since signed with another agent, Jonathan Feinsod), was told by Tannenbaum during a conversation last season that the contract would be revisited if Baker had a good year.

Tannenbaum yesterday disputed Baker's version of the conversation he had with Brady.

"I know what was said, so I think Chris and I have a difference of opinion about those conversations (with Brady)," Tannenbaum said.

Asked if he thinks the situation will be resolved for the season opener, Baker said, "They haven't done anything to indicate that they want to resolve this, so no. I don't believe so."


First-round draft pick, LB Vernon Gholston, will make his offseason camp debut tomorrow. He's been finishing his schoolwork at Ohio State and, by NCAA and NFL rule, has not been eligible to participate until that's complete.


Link to comment
Share on other sites


Six months behind bars for stadium bomb hoax Friday, June 6, 2008 BY ASHLEY KINDERGANSTAFF WRITER

The warning said that dirty bombs would explode during football games simultaneously at seven stadiums around the country

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OTA Update #3 - Rookie Receiver Shines

By Joe Caporoso | June 5th, 2008

E-mail | Print | Share

The Jets might have found something with Marcus Henry, the rookie receiver recorded two long leaping receptions today over fellow rookie Dwight Lowery, despite dealing with tight coverage, Henry was simply able to use his exceptional height (6′4) to his advantage.

Beyond Henry, Chris Baker stopped pouting and began to actually make a case for his new contract by hauling in a pair of one handed catches. Bubba Franks also had a strong day, while rookie Dustin Keller made a handful of mental mistakes. Laveranues Coles had a pair of strong practices, as did David Clowney and Chris Davis. The Jets should have some interesting competition at the receiver position in training camp. Henry, Clowney, Davis, Wallace Wright, Chansi Stuckey, and Brad Smith will all be battling for roster spots and reps beyond Coles and Cotchery.

Chad Pennington scored a victory in the quarterback battle today, even though Kellen Clemens rebounded from a rough morning with a good afternoon session. Pennington was efficient as usual, and completed a high percentage of his passes.

Both Jesse Chatman and Musa Smith made strong cases for a roster spot today. Chatman looked extremely fast and caught the ball well out of the backfield. Smith had a 60 yard touchdown reception to close practice.

On defense, Bryan Thomas recorded an interception. Darrelle Revis had a pair of very strong practices and Kris Jenkins has looked very mobile for a man of his size.

Vernon Gholston arrives tomorrow and he

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Persevering With Faith in the Face of Tragedy


Published: June 6, 2008

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. — Abram Elam leaned forward, covered his face with his hands and clenched his body to stop the shaking. He wiped the tears running down both cheeks with tissues. Through the silence came the occasional muffled sob.

Safety Abram Elam joined the Jets last September after being released twice. Of his family’s losses, he said, “I deal with it every day.”

Abram Elam’s half-brother Donald Runner, above, was killed in a drive-by shooting in 1987. His sister Christina was fatally shot in 1999. His older brother, Donald, was murdered last month.

Elam had just finished an interview, the first since his brother’s murder last month and the first time he had spoken in depth about the dangerous neighborhood he grew up in and his family history, including the three siblings murdered, gone.

“I would never have been able to script this,” the 26-year-old Elam said. “I would never want to see someone lose a loved one. I lost three in this life.”

This off-season should have been filled with celebration. After not being drafted out of college, after being released twice, Elam latched on with the Jets in September and finished the season as a starting safety.

He had made it to the relative stability of the N.F.L. and out of his neighborhood in Riviera Beach, Fla. And then another sibling died. Another gunshot, another murder, another crime scene within a mile of the family home.

“I couldn’t sit here and tell you I’ve been able to just deal with it,” Elam said, his voice cracking between long pauses. “I deal with it every day.”

Back home, everyone calls Elam “Abe.” Everyone except his younger sister Mary. She calls him “Daddy,” for the way everyone goes to him for advice.

Elam is the second oldest of five children born to Donald Elam and Addie Elam-Lewis. His father, an ordained minister, had five children from a previous relationship, and they all blended together, most living in a neighborhood called Monroe Heights.

Early on, Elam never found his hometown dangerous. It felt normal. But the longer his family lived there, the more he lost.

“Other than my mother and father, local basketball players and football players, I didn’t have many people to look up to,” Elam said.

But he returns there each off-season, visiting family and gathering on Sundays at the church. So many relatives reside there that Elam struggles to remember their ages. When the Jets played the Dolphins last season in Miami, about 60 family members attended.

“I’m not one who feels bigger than my hometown,” Elam said. “That’s what made me, what molded me.”

As a boy, Elam played catch in the backyard with Donald Runner, his half brother. He described Runner as a “neighborhood superstar,” an honor student, a basketball and football player, a cornerback with scholarship offers from Miami and Michigan. They shared the same features, the same penetrating eyes, the same dark complexion, the same broad build.

Donald Runner died in a drive-by, a gunshot to the head in 1987. They held the funeral in the gymnasium at the high school. Elam was 6 when he first experienced death.

When home, Elam visits Runner’s mother. For the longest time, Runner’s medals and trophies filled the house. When Elam made it to the N.F.L., it seemed as if he had fulfilled part of Runner’s dream as well.

Years went by. Elam’s grandmother and uncle died. His parents divorced.

During his junior year of high school, he went home one day from basketball practice. It was a Monday. His younger sister Christina, the one full of love and laughter, was watching television.

She went to the park. He started some homework. Maybe 30 minutes passed before a friend ran inside, frantic, screaming that someone had been shot.

There had been a fight at school. The brother of Christina’s adversary, a 20-year-old with a .357 Magnum, opened fire on the car she sat in outside the neighborhood park where the Elam children shot hoops. A bullet went through her arm, into her stomach.

Elam sprinted there, found his sister dead, her body soaked in blood.

He cradled her in his arms.

“So sad,” he said, eyes welling with tears. “She was 12.”

It took awhile to sink in. Every time Elam walked in the front door, he wondered where his sister was. A tattoo on his shoulder reveals her smiling face.

“I think about her all the time,” Elam said. “I wonder what could have been.”

Faith remained a focal point, where Elam went when overwhelmed, where he drew strength and prayed for the shooter’s family. He read Psalms and Proverbs repeatedly. He said he never questioned God.

Not even in 2002. While at Notre Dame, Elam was convicted of sexual battery. Of the four players involved, Elam was the only one not charged with rape and the only one convicted. He maintains his innocence.

Skip to next paragraph

Analysis and discussion of the N.F.L. draft and off-season news from around the league.

Go to The Fifth Down Blog »

Elam lost his scholarship and returned home, shamed. He finished college football at Kent State, went undrafted and bounced around until the Jets called.

Everything seemed to be falling into place. His older brother, Donald Elam Jr., was released from prison during the season, after serving eight years on assault, robbery and weapons charges. Donald Jr. started a cleaning service with a sister. When Elam saw him for the first time, they hugged for what seemed like minutes. Elam took his older brother shopping for new clothes, and when they walked out of the mall with all those shopping bags, it felt validating.

Later, he got the telephone call.

After dropping a teammate at the airport, en route to the team facility for a massage, Elam found out his brother had died. Same park, another shooting, no suspects.

His first thought? “Not again. My mother and father have to go through this again.”

Coach Eric Mangini told Elam to take as much time as he needed. His teammates Wallace Wright and Thomas Johnson went to the funeral, followed by a barbecue at the family home. Asked to name who called, a smiling Elam said, “Honestly, I couldn’t name who didn’t.”

“It was heartbreaking,” Johnson said. “I’ve never seen Abe like that. I saw him at work, too, before the funeral. Some days, he’d come out, eyes watering.”

Wright added: “Majority of the time, guys in that situation sink and fall. Not Abe. He’s strong.”

After the murder of three siblings in 20 years, he had to be. That is what Elam hopes people take from his story — that resiliency, that perseverance.

Some days, he feels like an old man trapped in a young man’s body. Some days, he thinks of Christina, of the way her death tore his mother apart. Some days, he thinks about his parents.

Every day, he turns to God and leans on the second family he found here. Slowly that eases the sadness, the lingering questions, the guilt.

“I have a lot of people that look at me and tell I could easily have given up,” Elam said. “But I know there is a reason I’m at this point.

“That’s my prayer. That He reveals to me my purpose. Because I feel like I’m blessed to be where I am.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...