Defensive End Shaun Ellis has been denied a contract extension by the New York Jets and is unsure of his playing future. The two-time Pro-Bowler thinks he might be next in the long line of veterans released by the team recently.
The 10-year player is the longest-tenured person on the Jets roster. He is due to make $3.35 million in the last year of his contract. Ellis made the Pro-Bowl last year as an alternate, recording 6 1/2 sacks during the season. Ellis and the Jets were beaten in the AFC Championship game by Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts.
The former first round draft pick is unsure about his status with the Jets, who are in need of depth at defensive end. Ellis has had a history of injury to his knee, but still shows he can perform.
“I never had a chance to really heal it after having arthroscopic surgery last off-season,” he said. “I came back and went right into camp. Now, I’ve really had the time to get it stronger and it’s coming along really good. No problems.”
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Several veteran players have been let go by the Jets this off-season. Ellis could be an addition to the list that includes runningback Thomas Jones and guard Alan Faneca.
“There’s always a possibility,” Ellis said. “There’s no secret that they want to get younger guys in, but I feel like I still have a lot of years to play and I’m just trying to do the right things I need to do. I’ll just go out and play and have a good season and let it work itself out, whether it’s here or somewhere else.”
Other players on the Jets have requested contract extensions and are worried that promises could be broken by the Jets front office. David Harris, Nick Mangold, and Darelle Revis are all talented players looking for a long-term commitment. Because Ellis is the elder statesman of the group, the Jets are not likely to offer him a new contract.
Though Ellis’ name was among players mentioned in trade rumors, general manager Mike Tannenbaum says he believes Ellis will stay put in New York. The Jets will probably sign Ellis if converted defensive end Vernon Gholston does not perform well.
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The former Tennessee standout has the franchise record for playoff starts with nine, and recorded a playoff sack against the Cincinnati Bengals. He recorded 56 tackles, and two forced fumbles during the regular-season. It is because of these numbers that Ellis’ believes he should be rewarded with a multi-year deal.
“Since I’ve been here, I’ve done a lot and I’ve helped the team out a lot,” said Ellis. “I just think we have something really special here and it took a while for it to get here. And, now, maybe I won’t be a part of it and it kind of hurts a little bit.”
Online Sportsbooks have set the odds for the Jets to win Super Bowl XLV at 10/1.