Finally completing a trade that had been rumored for weeks, the New York Jets on Friday afternoon acquired quarterback Patrick Ramsey from the Washington Redskins for a sixth-round choice in the 2006 draft.
Given the uncertainty over the availability of Chad Pennington, who is rehabilitating from a second rotator cuff surgery five months ago, the Jets considered a variety of options for bolstering their quarterback depth chart. As recently as earlier Friday, the Jets were still in discussions about a trade that would have brought them Falcons backup quarterback Matt Schaub in a deal that would have sent three-time Pro Bowl defensive end John Abraham to Atlanta.
The Jets and Falcons continued on Friday to explore other formulas for completing an Abraham trade.
Ramsey, the Redskins' first-round pick in the 2002 draft, but relegated to reserve status behind Mark Brunell for all but one game in '05, had been sought by several other teams as well. He met last week with Jets officials, including first-year head coach Eric Mangini, but also visited with Tampa Bay officials and was being pursued by Cincinnati. The Miami Dolphins and Detroit Lions also demonstrated interest.
A few weeks ago, Washington was said to be seeking a second- or third-round pick in return for Ramsey, but the Redskins subsequently reduced their asking price. The Jets, until Friday, has been offering a No. 7 draft choice for Ramsey.
"We appreciate Patrick's contributions during his time here
with the Washington Redskins," coach Joe Gibbs said in a statement.
"Through this entire process we always wanted what was best for
Patrick and in working with him we feel this is where he wants to
be. We wish all the best to him and his family and his future with
the New York Jets."
New York coaches feel confident, after doing extended research on Ramsey, that he is a starting-caliber quarterback in the league. If Pennington is unable to play at the outset of the season, Ramsey likely will be the starter. The Jets could still use the fourth overall choice in the first round to select a quarterback, but adding Ramsey eliminates the urgency to do so and provides New York more flexibility in the lottery.
Ramsey, 27, has a 10-14 record as a starter. He has completed 480 of 861 passes for 5,649 yards with 34 touchdown passes, 29 interceptions and a 75.0 quarterback rating.
A year or two ago, when it became obvious that Gibbs' staff wasn't enamored of Ramsey, the Redskins would almost certainly have commanded a higher price for the former Tulane star. But Washington failed to pull the trigger on a deal, when agent Jimmy Sexton could have brought them several suitors. Gibbs sold Ramsey on the notion he would compete for the starting job, then went out and invested a 2005 first-round pick on Auburn quarterback Jason Campbell.
Ramsey started the '05 season opener, was pulled in favor of Brunell at halftime, and didn't log another start the rest of the season. The poor handling of the situation contributed to the fact that Washington had to settle for far less in Friday's trade. Even at a reduced rate, though the Redskins likely had to deal Ramsey or release him, since he had finally become frustrated by his status. The Redskins also needed the salary cap space that Ramsey's departure gives them.
The Jets inherit Ramsey's existing contract, which has just one season remaining, at a base salary of $1.68 million for 2006.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.