Jets' offer to trade three veterans for cornerback

The New York Jets have offered a package of veteran players to the Washington Redskins in an attempt to acquire four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey.

Updated: February 25, 2004, 1:08 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

The New York Jets have offered a package of veteran players to the Washington Redskins in an attempt to acquire four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey.

However, while their offer is not too late, it is probably worth too little.

New York's proposed package included three veterans -- defensive end Shaun Ellis, tight end Anthony Becht and tailback LaMont Jordan -- for Bailey. However, Wednesday, the Jets denied to ESPN.com that Eillis was part of the trade talks.

But it is the Jets' offer, with or without Ellis, and not an issue with Bailey's asking price, that appears to be a breaking point in the deal.

Jets officials spoke with Bailey's agent last week at the annual combine workouts in Indianapolis and are believe to have accepted Bailey's price. But it seems the package they proposed as compensation to the Redskins has proved insufficient.

In the meantime, Washington continues to concentrate on a trade that would send Bailey and a second-round draft choice to Denver for Broncos two-year veteran tailback Clinton Portis.

The Jets already have one starting cornerback, Donnie Abraham, who is represented by Jack Reale, the agent for Bailey, and the team has spoken to Reale about restructuring Abraham's current contract.

Given the lack of quality on the Redskins defensive line, Ellis would certainly be an upgrade if he was part of the deal. The four-year veteran has never missed a game and emerged as the team's best defensive lineman in 2003, when he posted a career-best 12 sacks.

The rest of the package, however, is suspect. Becht, like Ellis, was one of the Jets' four first-round choices in the 2000 draft, and has averaged 14 starts per season, but he has never had more than 40 receptions in a season. Plus, he hardly fits the mold of the tough in-line blocker Redskins coach Joe Gibbs favors at the tight end position.

Washington personnel chief Vinny Cerrato has always liked Jordan and, of course, it doesn't hurt that the three-year veteran played collegiately at Maryland, the alma mater of Redskins owner Dan Snyder. But Jordan has never carried more than 84 times in a year nor posted more than 316 yards.

Jordan is still viewed as an intriguing prospect but there has been no indication yet in his three seasons that he is capable of being a feature-type runner.

Another hurdle: All three veterans offered by the Jets are entering the final season of their respective contracts. The Redskins would have to reach extension agreements with all of them for the trade to be worthy of consideration.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.

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