The New York Jets ended months of acrimony and bickering with starting left guard Pete Kendall on Thursday, trading the disgruntled 11-year veteran to the Washington Redskins for a future draft choice.
The Jets will receive a fifth-round pick in 2008 if Kendall plays 80 percent of the snaps this year for Washington; if he plays more than that, the pick would be upgraded to a fourth-rounder in 2009.
The deal came after an offseason in which Kendall, upset about his contract, did not take part in any of the Jets' voluntary activities, and in which he railed against management. One of the game's most candid players, and unafraid to speak his mind, Kendall went public with his grievances over the contractual dispute.
"We were really comfortable with the trade and the value that
we got in the trade," Jets coach Eric Mangini said Thursday morning. "When this opportunity presented itself, we thought it was a good opportunity and, as always, we're trying to make the best decisions to help the team win."
The deal ends Kendall's three-season tenure with the Jets.
"Pete and I had a great conversation last night," Mangini
said. "I wished him well and he thanked me. We joked about having
beverages on Cape Cod when I'm down there."
After accepting a salary reduction last year, Kendall sought to have his compensation for this season, scheduled at a base salary of $1.68 million, increased by $1 million. Jets officials, though, steadfastly declined to renegotiate. Kendall claimed that the Jets had reneged on a promise to readjust his salary again if he performed well in 2006.
Discussions with the Redskins, who will use Kendall to replace Derrick Dockery, a standout left guard who signed with Buffalo as an unrestricted free agent this spring, heated up in the past few days. Washington had planned to use Todd Wade, an offense tackle for most of his career, at guard, but Kendall is a far better option there.
Kendall, 34, should be an excellent fit with Washington's veteran blocking unit.
Several other teams, including the Miami Dolphins, had inquired about Kendall as well. But the Jets preferred to send him to a team in the NFC. New York does, though, host the Redskins in an interconference game on Nov. 4.
Washington will mark the fourth stop for Kendall in his NFL career. He entered the league as a first-round pick with Seattle in 1996. His résumé includes stints with the Seahawks (1996-2000), Arizona (2001-2003) and the Jets (2004-2006).
A former Boston College star, Kendall has appeared in 158 games, all but two of them as a starter. He has played all 16 games in five different seasons and has never appeared in fewer than 11 games in a year.
Kendall had two years beyond this season remaining on his Jets' contract, at base salaries of $2 million for 2008 and $2.393 million for 2009. It is believed that the Redskins agreed to upgrade his contract.
The Jets will now choose between second-year veteran Adrien Clarke and rookie Jacob Bender, a sixth-round draft choice who primarily played tackle in college, to fill the void at the left guard spot.
Senior writer Len Pasquarelli covers the NFL for ESPN.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report.