Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Sources: Kellen Clemens could be dealt
By Rich Cimini
CORTLAND, N.Y. -- If it looked like the New York Jets were showcasing quarterback Kellen Clemens on Monday night for a possible trade, it's because they were.
With Mark Sanchez and Mark Brunell locked into the first two quarterback jobs, the Jets are willing to deal Clemens before the start of the regular season, according to league sources.
The Jets found no takers when they tried to trade Clemens before the draft, but the recent arrival of Brunell could make him expendable. Clemens may have improved his value around the league with a solid performance against the New York Giants.
If the Jets don't receive a worthwhile offer, they could keep him as the No. 3 quarterback. But make no mistake: They will answer the phone if another team calls with an offer.
Coach Rex Ryan was unusually short when asked Wednesday why Clemens, not Brunell, was the first quarterback off the bench in the preseason opener.
"We knew we were going to go with Brunell [as the permanent No. 2]. I wanted to play Kellen," Ryan said. "We just threw him in there in that situation. He showed himself well."
Clemens completed 7 of 10 passes for 84 yards. He was replaced by Brunell, who was followed by Kevin O'Connell (two interceptions). The Jets also have Erik Ainge, who is not in camp. He was placed on the non-football illness list, but his future with the team is murky.
"I don't think that was any sort of pecking order or indicator," Clemens said after the game. "I was told they were going to give me a shot earlier on in the game, but I haven't been told that has anything to do with where we [the quarterbacks] are ranked as far as 1-2-3. As far as I know, the No. 1 and 2 spots are pretty locked up."
Clemens is due to make $1.1 million this season (non-guaranteed), which is high for a third-string quarterback. That, too, could factor into a decision to trade him.
Rich Cimini covers the Jets for ESPNNewYork.com. Follow him on Twitter.
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