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Kendall gives Jets needed guard depth

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- The New York Jets signed veteran guard
Pete Kendall on Friday to help shore up their offensive line.

Kendall, going into his ninth NFL season, was released Sunday by
the Arizona Cardinals. The former Boston College player was a
first-round selection of the Seattle Seahawks in 1996.

While with the Seahawks from 1996-2000, Kendall played alongside
Jets Pro Bowl center Kevin Mawae, who signed with New York as an
unrestricted free agent in 1998.

Kendall then moved on to the Cardinals in 2001, starting 36
games but missing 11 with injuries. He played center last year and
hurt his shoulder late in the season, missing the final three
games.

The Jets have depth problems at guard. Brent Smith, last
season's starter at right guard, moved to the left to replace Dave
Szott, who retired. Smith was signed last year to be a backup
tackle, but had to move to guard when Tom Nutten suddenly retired
during training camp.

Brandon Moore, the projected starter at right guard, is a former
defensive lineman who saw playing time at the end of last season
during meaningless games.

"It's my expectation right now that I will move into the lineup
at the left guard spot," Kendall said. "I'm sure they want to put
their best five forward and I just hope when we play in September
that I'm one of the five."

When asked why the Cardinals let him go, Kendall said, "You
would have to ask (coach) Denny (Green) why he decided to release
me."

Kendall said 15 to 18 teams expressed interest in him, but he
went with the Jets in part to be closer to home.

"It meant a lot to my wife," Kendall said. "I'm married and I
have three young children. It meant a lot to her to be within an
easy drive of her parents or my parents, but it was far beyond
geography the reason I decided to sign here."