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Few Clouds 44° Good Morning

Former tackle Woody to make it official

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Damien Woody is ready to make it official.

As reported by Newsday last week, the veteran right tackle has decided to retire, and he plans to make it public Friday, according to a source. Woody is expected to have a formal news conference to announce his decision at the Jets' training complex after the team's morning walk-through.

Woody, 33, has been hired by ESPN to be an NFL analyst and will begin his new career later this month.

Woody was released in February as a salary-cap casualty as he recovered from Achilles surgery, but the Jets hoped to bring him back. The team's top brass put a full-court press on the 12-year veteran July 26 -- the day after the lockout was lifted -- to see if he could be coaxed out of possible retirement.

Phone conversations with Rex Ryan, general manager Mike Tannenbaum and owner Woody Johnson, however, weren't enough to convince Woody to play one more season.

Pool's return a surpriseRyan didn't think Brodney Pool was a real option any longer, and he was as shocked as anyone when the safety agreed to a one-year deal Wednesday to return to the Jets.

"I was stunned," Ryan said. "He had a substantial contract offered to him from another team and turned it down. We're like, 'We're here for you and we can only give you a certain [amount].' He's like, 'It's OK, I want to be a Jet.' And that was impressive.

"I really went in [to free agency] assuming if we are fortunate, we are able to get one or the other, Eric Smith or Brodney. And now we've got them both back, and I feel great about that.''

Ryan said Smith still will start but that Pool will see plenty of action.

New York Sports