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Jets DE Ellis charged with marijuana possession

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By DENNIS WASZAK Jr.
The Associated Press
Thursday, December 4, 2008; 9:43 PM

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets defensive end Shaun Ellis was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana, speeding and driving without insurance after being pulled over by police last weekend.

Ellis, the Jets' longest-tenured player, was stopped last Saturday in Hanover, N.J., a few miles from the team's training facility after speeding, the Daily Record of Morris County reported on its Web site Thursday.

Capt. Shawn Waldron, the information officer for the Hanover Township Police, wasn't available for comment Thursday night and wasn't due back at the station until Friday morning.
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Ellis played the day after the arrest in New York's 34-17 loss to Denver, and a team spokesman confirmed that he will play Sunday at San Francisco.

"I apologize to my family, the fans and the organization," Ellis said in a statement issued by the team Thursday night. "As a captain, I set a poor and selfish example for my teammates, as well as all NFL players. Although this is a pending legal matter, I understand that I have to be responsible for my actions."

This is believed to be Ellis' first offense, which means he won't be suspended by the league, but will be enrolled in the league's substance abuse program.

Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum said in a statement that he and coach Eric Mangini both spoke to Ellis about the incident.

"He is disappointed with himself and has apologized for his actions," Tannenbaum said. "Personal conduct is important and an area that we stress to the entire organization. Shaun has been a leader on this team and I am confident that he will handle this in the appropriate fashion. The legal process will run its course and the league will handle this matter."

Ellis has enjoyed a resurgence this season with a team-leading seven sacks, his most in four years. He was the 12th overall pick out of Tennessee in the 2000 draft and has 60 1/2 career sacks.

It's the latest legal incident involving players from the New York-area NFL teams.

Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress accidentally shot himself in the right thigh at a nightclub last Saturday morning and was charged with illegal weapons possession, a felony that requires a mandatory minimum 3 1/2 years and a maximum of 15 years in prison if convicted. The Giants also fined and suspended Burress for four games, and placed him on the reserve non-football injury list, which means he won't be back for the playoffs.

Giants offensive tackle Kareem McKenzie was charged with drunken driving after a traffic stop on Nov. 14. A Breathalyzer test found McKenzie's blood-alcohol level was above New Jersey's legal limit of 0.08. He wasn't suspended by the team.

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BRETTJETS

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Wow you got to be kidding me. Well it looks like he will play but damm he got to use better judgement.

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GreenBlood

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Damm ellis is one of the longest tenure jets and best players and he pulls this crap lucky he won't get suspended.

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SIENNA LOVES THE JETS

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What an idiot he is lucky he still playing doing this when we got a playoff push.

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I saw the article and was shocked wouldn't think ellis out of all people would do this. He is very lucky he not getting punished by the Nfl for this but i am sure mangini will punsih him.


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The crazy thing is that this article below came out earlier today!



Nobody on the Jets has shot himself in the leg this season, or bundled away the offending weapon. And when the league on Tuesday announced that six more players had tested positive for illegal substances, not one of them was a member of Gang Green.

Maybe it's been sheer luck. We know the peace on a football franchise is always a fragile balance between the requisite athletic violence and the smiley-faced public relations. But for now, you have to give the Eric Mangini regime some credit until further notice.

A couple of marginal Jets were busted early on for diuretics. After that, the Jets' record off the field has been relatively spotless, while their East Rutherford roommates have been busy misbehaving. All of a sudden, everybody in Florham Park is a Boy Scout - or at the very least a successful project.

Kerry Rhodes would seem to fit in the former category. The defensive co-captain filmed a public-service announcement last year on behalf of the Bloomberg administration, warning against the use of illegal firearms and about the mandatory penalties involved.

"If I'm going out, I have someone with me," Rhodes was saying Wednesday, before practice. "I'm not going by myself. I have my own people. That's how I approach it."

That doesn't mean some of the Jets don't pack guns. It just means they don't carry illegal firearms into clubs at night and shoot themselves.

But that's a start.

"Whenever you're out, maybe you're feeling you're not safe," Rhodes said, sympathetic to Plaxico Burress' plight. "As a player and a human being some people want to feel safe. You have to look at the situation."

The situation at the moment is that the Jets have absolutely no distractions, as they ready themselves for a key contest in San Francisco on Sunday. This will be its own kind of statement game. The Jets need to prove finally that they won't fall to the level of their competition down the stretch. With an accommodating schedule, they should win three of their last four.

There is nothing to divert them from their appointed duty. Outside of the positive fuss about Brett Favre's arrival, the Jets have been all about football. It's been this way for a while. You have to go back to John Abraham's crash or Jumbo Elliott's DWI to uncover even a sniff of scandal.

Mike Tannenbaum has taken his share of chances, and they've worked out. Abram Elam was expelled from Notre Dame, convicted of sexual battery, and went undrafted. As a Jaguar, Ahmad Carroll was busted in 2007 on drug and gun charges. Offered a last chance, these guys put on the Jets' uniform and have comported themselves admirably. [i]

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