Jets trade Robertson for conditional '09 draft pick

Updated: April 24, 2008, 9:18 PM ET
By Bill Williamson | ESPN.com

Another veteran player has switched teams as the NFL draft inches closer.

Dewayne Robertson

Robertson

The New York Jets traded defensive tackle Dewayne Robertson to the Denver Broncos on Thursday. The compensation to the Jets is a conditional 2009 draft choice, believed to be a midround pick, dependent upon Robertson's playing time.

"It's a great opportunity," said agent Hadley Engelhard, who's hoping to finalize a new deal for Robertson with the Broncos on Friday, according to The Associated Press. "He's got the chance to showcase his abilities."

The two teams have been talking about a trade since mid-March. Earlier this month, New York gave Denver permission to talk to Robertson about a new contract and the two sides had agreed on a restructured contract. Yet the Broncos and Jets continued to plow toward agreeing on a compensation package and came to an accord Thursday.

Robertson joins defensive end Jared Allen and cornerback Pacman Jones as veterans who were traded this week for draft picks.

This is the second time the Jets have agreed to trade Robertson this offseason. In March, they had a deal in principle with Cincinnati for fourth- and fifth-round picks. But Robertson failed the Bengals' physical because of a knee issue. The Broncos gave Robertson a physical in March and the team was satisfied with his knees since he played all last season without any major problems.

Robertson will join second-year player Marcus Thomas as the likely starting defensive tackles in Denver as it retools its defensive line for the third time in four years. Robertson was made expendable by the Jets because he doesn't fit in the team's 3-4 scheme.

Had the Jets not been able to deal Robertson, he likely would have been cut in June. He was due a $3 million bonus in June and has salary cap number of about $11 million for this season. Robertson, 26, was the No. 4 overall draft pick in the 2003 draft out of Kentucky. He had 57 tackles for the Jets last season.

Bill Williamson covers the NFL for ESPN.com.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter

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