Could Jets 'poison' offer for Cowboy?

April, 10, 2009
4/10/09
11:50
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

Cowboys wide receiver Miles Austin, a restricted free agent, met with the New York Jets on Friday. A source within the Jets organization told me the club's coaching staff doesn't seem to be as enamored with Austin as the front office.

Keep in mind that Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum learned the ropes from Bill Parcells and the two remain close. Austin played at Garfield (N.J.) High School, which is also Wayne Chrebet's alma mater. Parcells, who grew up in Bergen County (N.J.), kept an eye on Austin and suggested that the Cowboys sign him as a rookie free agent out of Monmouth University in 2006.

As Dave Hutchinson points out in the Star-Ledger, there's always a chance Tannebaum could insert the dreaded "poison pill" provision into the offer sheet. Tannenbaum used the "pill" to his advantage in signing Curtis Martin in 1998 -- and the rest is history. Of course, Martin was already an established player in the league who warranted a first- and third-round selection. Austin appears to have immense talent, but he's only had 18 career catches.

There are people within the Jets organization who are queasy about surrendering a second-round draft pick for such a raw player. Could the wily Jerry Jones have been pumping up Austin this offseason in hopes of landing a second-round pick? I don't think so.

Quarterback Tony Romo is one of Austin's biggest advocates, and that holds a lot of sway with Jones. For now, we just know Austin left the Jets' offices without an offer. The restricted free agency period ends April 17, so New York needs to decide pretty quickly. Once the offer's made, the Cowboys have seven days to match. Tannenbaum would've never thought about using a "poison pill" to land one of Parcells' players, but now the Tuna's in South Florida.

We'll continue to keep you updated throughout the process. Here's the latest update from The Dallas Morning News.

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