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Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Tanny non-committal on Bart's future

By Rich Cimini

Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum, addressing the Bart Scott situation for the first time, made it clear Tuesday that the veteran linebacker's future with the team is very much up in the air.

Tannenbaum, commenting on his recent meeting with Scott's agent at the NFL scouting combine, said they "cleared the air on a lot of things." But he wouldn't guarantee that Scott will return in 2012, saying that discussions will continue.

"We'll see what happens over the next couple of weeks," Tannenbaum said on "The Michael Kay Show" on ESPN New York 1050, adding, "All options are on the table."

The Jets haven't given Scott permission to seek a trade, but they are shopping him, according to a league source. They're in a tough spot because Scott's $4.2 million salary is guaranteed, making it tough to deal the 31-year-old linebacker, but they're still looking for a taker, hoping Scott restructures his contract to facilitate a trade.

Scott was "extremely frustrated" by his diminished role last season, his agent, Harold Lewis, told ESPNNewYork.com Monday. Lewis said Scott's "ultimate goal" is to remain with the Jets, but he admitted the two sides discussed the possibility of a trade at the combine meeting.

The trading period begins March 13.

Tannenbaum addressed other subjects, including:

Peyton Manning. Reiterating what he said last week at the combine, Tannenbaum did nothing to dispel potential interest in Manning.

"It's really important that we always try to improve the team," he said. "With that said, I expect Mark Sanchez to be our quarterback next year. But when we have opportunities to improve our team, that's what we're going to do."

Plaxico Burress. On Tuesday, the free-agent WR told a Philadelphia radio station that he wants to sign with the Eagles. Tannenbaum all but said, "Go right ahead."

"He's exploring his options; that's what we want our players to do this time of year, like we're doing for ourselves," he said.

Greg McElroy. Tannenbaum said "we weren't happy with those comments," referring to the QB's description of the "corrupt mindset" in the locker room, but the GM said McElroy will be on the team.

A backup for Sanchez. Tannenbaum continued to talk out of both sides of his mouth on this subject. He said they don't need to bring in a No. 2 to push Sanchez -- "Mark wants to be great because that's who he is" -- but he also said he expects the QB depth chart to have a different look by September.