Clemens wants to start -- somewhere

Updated: April 9, 2010, 2:41 AM ET
By Jane McManus | ESPNNewYork.com

Kellen Clemens isn't in a rush to sign his tender this year. Now going into his fifth season with the Jets, the quarterback knows he will always be limited here, and that the clock is ticking on his NFL career.

"There's no future for me here starting, that's clear," Clemens said. "There's a future for one guy here to star and play and that's Mark [Sanchez], and that's why they drafted him. And he's a very talented quarterback. So I'm not at the point where I'm willing to give up my dream of having a chance to play and start."

The Jets tendered Clemens this year at a third-round pick. He was drafted in the second round in 2006, but the when the Jets offered both Leon Washington and Brad Smith second-round tenders, Clemens was bumped to the third.

He started for nine games in 2007 when then-quarterback Chad Pennington was injured, but didn't perform well enough to win the starting job outright. In 2008 the pair were to square off in a training camp competition before Brett Favre arrived. Clemens was the designated backup that season as Pennington signed with Miami.

When Favre "retired" after his one season and the Jets released him, Clemens and Brett Ratliff were in the hunt for the vacated starting spot when the Jets traded up to get Sanchez.

On Wednesday, Clemens met with veteran quarterback Mark Brunell when he came to the Jets for a visit.

"After being in New York for four years there's not much that surprises me," Clemens said. "After Brett Farve came here? There's not a lot that surprises me."

Through the uncertainty of playing in New York, Clemens and his wife Nicole started a family. So when he thinks about the future represented by that tender, he has more to consider.

"It makes it weigh on your mind a little bit more when you have a family," Clemens said.

Clemens can listen to any other teams but has an April 15 deadline to sign his tender. He has no way of knowing if the Jets will bring in someone above him, or have him continue as the main backup to Sanchez.

"The only thing that I can control is whether I sign that tender today or a week from today," Clemens said.

Jane McManus is a columnist for ESPNNewYork.com. You can follow her on Twitter.

Jane McManus has covered New York sports since 1998 and began covering football just before Brett Favre's stint with the Jets. Her work has appeared in Newsday, USA Today, The Journal News and The New York Times. Follow Jane on Twitter.

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