Jets waive O’Connell, Clemens safe with new deal
Kevin O’Connell is out, and Kellen Clemens is safe.
The New York Jets waived O’Connell on Tuesday, clearing the way
for Clemens to make the team as the No. 3 quarterback.
Clemens signed a new deal Tuesday morning, restructuring his
$1.1 million tender and taking a pay cut while securing his spot on
the roster. He said he was given permission to speak with other
teams about a trade during the last week, but decided to stay with
the Jets despite some opportunities elsewhere.
”I feel good with where I’m at,” said Clemens, who declined to
go into specifics about his new one-year contract.
The Jets also claimed linebacker Ricky Foley, a former CFL star,
off waivers from Seattle to put them at the 75-player roster
Coach Rex Ryan said Monday that Clemens, entering his fifth
season, had a ”pretty strong chance” of making the opening day
roster. He reiterated that Tuesday, saying Clemens had outperformed
O’Connell this summer despite ”Hard Knocks” showing an ”X” next
to Clemens’ name on a depth chart in last week’s episode.
”The only way Kellen Clemens was not going to be on this team
was if somebody was going to give him a chance to be a starting
quarterback,” Ryan said. ”I would’ve traded him, and I told
Kellen that before.”
Clemens said he might have still been cut if he hadn’t agreed to
take a lesser salary.
”That’s the way the roster thing was,” Ryan said. ”That’s the
truth. Well, that would be a way, obviously, that he would be cut
if he doesn’t take it. Absolutely, because you can’t have all of
your quarterbacks at X-amount of dollars.”
O’Connell was acquired last September from Detroit in a trade
and was competing with Clemens for the No. 3 job behind starter
Mark Sanchez and backup Mark Brunell.
Ryan said the Jets decided to let go of O’Connell now rather
than after the preseason finale at Philadelphia on Thursday night
because they’re already starting to prepare for the regular-season
opener against Baltimore.
”So, the more things we put in, we don’t need that information
going out,” Ryan said. ”It also gives him an opportunity because
there are some teams looking for a quarterback.”
O’Connell was a third-round draft pick by New England out of San
Diego State in 2008. He was cut last offseason and claimed off
waivers by Detroit.