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Jets would benefit from keeping Shaun Ellis

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Posted June 17, 2011 @ 9:34 a.m. ET
By Kevin Fishbain

When the Jets used their first pick of April's draft on DE Muhammad Wilkerson, it could have been perceived as a sign they were ready to cut ties with Shaun Ellis, the team's longest-tenured player. But as the lockout lingers, it seems that Ellis, an unrestricted free agent, could stay in New York, where he has spent his entire 11-year career.

One daily team observer said the team wants Ellis back, but he would have to return at the veteran minimum. If you need an example of Ellis' contributions this late in his career, you don't have to look farther than the Jets' playoff win over the Patriots. Ellis recorded five tackles and two sacks. With the lockout delaying free agency and rookie minicamps, Ellis' presence on a young D-line could be beneficial as the youngsters learn Rex Ryan's defense.

The Jets' defensive linemen got together for workouts earlier this month, and some of the workouts were scheduled to take place near Ellis' home on Long Island. If Ellis is willing to take the hometown discount, he would fill a role as mentor to Wilkerson and rookie DT Kenrick Ellis while remaining a veteran voice and leader on the D-line.

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