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Keeping the seat warm for Brunell

5/27/2010

There's a feeling around the Jets that it's only a matter of time before the team signs free-agent QB Mark Brunell, most recently of the New Orleans Saints.

By rule, they can't sign Brunell now because of the so-called "Final Eight" rules. To add him now, they'd have to lose an unrestricted free agent, and it doesn't look like that's going to happen anytime soon. Therefore, they will have to wait until July 22, when the restriction is lifted.

But the Jets, who had a good visit last month with Brunell, are willing to wait. There are some whispers that they already have a wink-and-nod agreement with Brunell, the former longtime Jacksonville Jaguars starter. Why Brunell, who will be 40 for the season? They want to add a pair of veteran eyes to help the development of Mark Sanchez.

Sanchez already has more career starts than backup Kellen Clemens (15 to nine), and there's a sense that Sanchez could really benefit from a mentor-type player. It's a tough situation for Clemens, a good soldier, but he knows the writing is on the wall. The Jets tried to trade him before the draft, but found no takers and decided to keep him around through the off-season workouts, letting him run the offense while Sanchez recovers from knee surgery.