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Jets news articles and other football news 7/19/08


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More info re KELLERS signing:

Jets sign Dustin Keller, turn attention to Vernon Gholston

BY RICH CIMINI

DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER

Friday, July 18th 2008, 9:25 PM

Weissman for News

Dustin Keller signed a five-year deal with the Jets on Friday.

Stung by a lengthy contract dispute last year with rookie Darrelle Revis, the Jets are working feverishly to get their current draft class signed before the start of training camp on Thursday.

They finalized a five-year deal Friday with former Purdue tight end Dustin Keller, only the fifth of 31 first-round picks to sign. The Jets have five picks under contract, with first-round linebacker Vernon Gholston (No. 6) their only unsigned rookie. They're well into negotiations with the former Ohio State standout.

The Jets have big plans for Keller, whom they envision as a potential weapon in the passing game. They liked him so much in the draft that they traded back into the first round, selecting him with the 30th pick. He was the first pass catcher (tight end or wide receiver) to be chosen in the draft.

Keller received an $8.5 million contract, including about $6 million in guarantees.

"I feel pretty confident with the offense right now," Keller said on a conference call. "I've been doing a lot of studying and getting everything down. As far as expectations for the season, I haven't really set any true expectations for myself. For right now, I just want to get the offense down as good as I can, and I want to go out there and give the Jets everything I've got, every chance I'm out there."

Keller, who caught 68 passes for 881yards and seven touchdowns as a senior, is known more for his receiving than his blocking. The Jets will try to feature him as a receiver, complementing him with in-line tight ends Chris Baker and Bubba Franks.

Baker's status still is somewhat uncertain. The disgruntled veteran wants a new contract or a trade, but the Jets don't appear in any hurry to placate him. To avoid a mandatory fine, Baker is expected to report to training camp, but he will try to force the team's hand by becoming a distraction.

Baker, who has two years left on his contract, caught a career-high 41 balls last season. But the Jets apparently doesn't consider him an explosive receiver, evidenced by the aggressive move to draft Keller. They believe Keller's speed will cause headaches for opposing defenses, creating opportunities for wideouts Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery.

In recent weeks, Keller has spent a lot of time with quarterback Erik Ainge, a fellow rookie, working 10-hour days at the Jets' facility.

"We definitely should be ready for anything they throw at us in training camp," Keller said.

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July 18, 2008

Keller signs; 5 down, 1 to go

TE Dustin Keller, the 30th overall pick in the first round, officially signed with the Jets today. Terms weren't disclosed, but it's believed to be a five-year contract. In another roster move, the Jets waived rookie free agent CB Jonathan Zenon.

Keller spoke to reporters on a conference call today. Here are some highlights:

On whether he would be signed in time for the beginning of training camp: I knew that there wasn't going to be a concern speaking to Mr. Tannenbaum [GM Mike] and my agent Eugene Parker. They both agreed that they were going to get this contract done early and had good faith on both sides. There was really never any doubt in my mind that we were going to get this thing done on time.

On how excited he is: I'm happy that everything is done and to officially be a New York Jet. I'm just happy that all that stuff is done now and I can get down to the real football business of putting pads on.

On why it was important to be there on time: I didn't want to miss out on anything. When you're going through training camp, they're going to be re-installing a lot of stuff. Even though you've done a lot of the stuff during minicamp or OTAs, you're not going to be completely fresh and remember everything the way that you did then. To go back over the basics and get everything like that is huge, especially for a rookie like me. I wanted to be there and not miss any meetings or anything like that. As far as my position, I am just trying to run this new offense and get everything down.

On his goals as a rookie: I haven't set any true expectations for myself. For right now, I want to get the offense down as well as I can, and go out there and give the Jets all that I have every play that I am out there. We'll see what happens from there.

On if has blocking has improved since beginning spring practice: Without a doubt. I've been working in the weight room and that always helps, but it really doesn't help unless you transition all that strength onto the field. I think that's the biggest area that I've improved upon - as far as that transition, as far as getting all that bag work on the field and the repetitions.

Perhaps the most interesting thing was Keller talking about how he and his fellow rookies spent their time at Hofstra for most of the past few weeks, while the veterans were off. This remedial training, if you will, helps bring them up to speed with their veteran counterparts.

Keller said, 'One day we might just go four or five hours and then another one we might go eight or nine. It all depends what day it is and when they start the schedule. At first, it almost seems overwhelming but you get in the routine of things and get used to it. You realize it's really making you better, so it makes it that much easier to get through the day.'

He indicated that he's been able to bond with other rookies, such as QB Erik Ainge, FB Jehuu Caulcrick and LB Vernon Gholston. Gholston, of course, is the only Jets' draft pick still unsigned, but it appears those negotiations won't be a problem. Other than CB Darrelle Revis last season, Mr. T has had a tremendous record of getting draft picks signed in time for the first day of practice.

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few words from Keller

Dustin Keller, speaking with reporters a few moments ago on a conference call after officially signing his new multi-year contract, sounded as if Thursday and the first day of training camp can't get here soon enough.

"I'm just happy to have everything done and officially be a New York Jet," Keller said. "It's good to get down to real football business."

Of course, he's been doing that to a degree already as rookies really don't get the time off veterans do. The time between the end of minicamp and training camp is when even coaches take vacations, but the Jets rookies spent most of that time studying and working out at Hofstra. But when the veterans report Thursday, Keller said, he'll feel "on par" with them in terms of knowledge.

"I feel pretty comfortable with the offense so far," Keller siad. "I'm feeling a lot more comfortable as far as the ins and outs of it."

Keller said in some ways it's as if minicamp never ended, meaning early mornings, meetings with coaches, weight room sessions and filmwork, with work days sometimes lasting 8-10 hours. Not that he was complaining.

"At first it seems overwhelming but you get used to it," he said. "You realize all these things are making you better."

As for the contract hammered out by his agent Eugene Parker, Keller said it was important for it to be done early.

"I didn

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Chiefs Posted on Thu, Jul. 17, 2008 10:15 PMreprint or license print email Digg it del.icio.us AIM Chiefs release veteran safety Wesley

By ADAM TEICHER

The Kansas City Star

Wesley

More on the Chiefs

Apparently satisfied they had exhausted all trade possibilities for Greg Wesley, the Chiefs finally released the veteran safety Thursday.

Wesley, the longest continually tenured Chiefs defensive player, lost his seven-year starting spot last season when Jarrad Page and Bernard Pollard were promoted into the starting lineup.

He then lost his backup spot in April when the Chiefs drafted North Carolina State safety DaJuan Morgan in the third round. The Chiefs also have a veteran backup in Jon McGraw.

The Chiefs continued to hold on to Wesley in hopes of finding a trade partner. Wesley, after losing his starting spot, requested to be traded or released and this combination created an awkward situation at last month

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