Clemens signs, still dreams of starting

Updated: April 13, 2010, 1:16 PM ET
By Jane McManus |

Kellen Clemens confirmed to that on Monday he signed his tender contract offer from the New York Jets.

The backup quarterback said last week that he still hopes to start someday in the NFL, but he realizes only one quarterback will start with the Jets -- and that is Mark Sanchez.

"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, 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."

Clemens was tendered by the Jets at a third-round pick despite being drafted in 2006 in the second round. Because the Jets tendered running back Leon Washington and wide receiver Brad Smith at the second-round spot, Clemens was pushed to the third, which means he signed for about $500,000 less at $1.1 million.

The backup started eight games in 2007. In the middle of a competition with Chad Pennington for the starting spot in 2008, the Jets brought in Brett Favre and Pennington signed with the Dolphins. Last season, the team traded up to get Sanchez, securing Clemens' role as the backup. In truth, his options were somewhat limited.

He has thrown five touchdown passes and 11 interceptions in 24 games.

Clemens started one game in place of an injured Sanchez, going 12 for 23 for 111 yards in the Jets' 26-3 win at Tampa Bay in Week 14.

The Jets also have Erik Ainge and Kevin O'Connell on its roster.

The Jets still are waiting for Washington to sign before the April 15 deadline. Cornerback Drew Coleman has not signed, either, but said he plans to.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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.