Pete Kendall is in a very ticklish situation these days, and no, we’re not talking about the fact he’s unhappy with his contract and has asked to be traded or released. It’s over the issue of whether the Jets have violated the collective bargaining agreement by allowing too much contact during offseason workouts and/or minicamps. So why would Kendall, the Jets’ disgruntled guard, be any more conflicted about this situation than his teammates? Well, Kendall is the Jets’ player representative and as such, he’s responsible for reporting to the NFL Players Association if there’s too much hitting in practice. The question now is whether he’s willing to blow the whistle on a team that is not budging on his request to add $1 million to his 2007 salary of $1.7 million.
The Jets were actually seen during minicamp practice engaged in some fairly significant physical contact during some drills – the defensive linemen were rushing pretty hard and being blocked by the offensive linemen, even though the Jets were dressed in just helmets, jerseys and shorts, with no shoulder pads. Technically, this is a no-no when it comes to the offseason rules regarding contact. “When we get information like this, we call the player rep and talk to him about what’s been going on,” NFLPA spokesman Carl Francis said to Newsday. “If he feels like that’s a violation, we launch an investigation.”
Francis was uncertain if the union would contact Kendall, but there’s the possibility it will happen. And what Kendall would do with any information is unclear at this time. He did not return telephone calls seeking comment. A Jets’ spokesman said general manager Mike Tannenbaum and coach Eric Mangini are not commenting about Newsday’s initial report that the Jets may have violated the CBA by allowing contact. The Jets’ offseason workouts are complete, so any penalty of that nature would essentially be a moot point. But the team could possibly be fined, and if it’s determined that the violations have been rampant, a draft choice may be forfeited.