FILE - Jets wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery speaks to the...

FILE - Jets wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery speaks to the media. (Jan. 17, 2011) Credit: Joe Epstein

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Jerricho Cotchery was as even keeled as always, showing almost no emotion and speaking in his trademark monotone. Unconfirmed trade rumors have been swirling around Cotchery, yet the wide receiver doesn't appear fazed in the least.

"That's not where my focus is," Cotchery said Tuesday. "I'm just getting out here and just working. Everyone is working right now. That's my main focus, working and getting back on the field.

"It's exciting to see the pieces that they brought in. For me, I've just got to focus on getting better and let everything take care of itself. I can't think about anything else."

If anyone might have a reason to be a little bit ticked off, it's probably Cotchery. The Jets traded for wideout Braylon Edwards in 2009, this after the team kept telling everyone who was clamoring about the lack of a No. 1 receiver that Cotchery was perfectly suited for that role.

Last offseason, the Jets acquired Santonio Holmes, a move that pushed Cotchery out of the starting rotation and into the slot as the third wideout. Then, after signing Holmes to a five-year, $50 million contract last week, the Jets let Edwards walk, but wound up signing free-agent receiver Plaxico Burress.

Still, not a peep out of Cotchery (who is due a base salary of $1.8 million) about feeling disrespected. That's just not the way the eighth-year pro acts.

"It speaks volumes for J-Co because again, it's rare to find a guy like that," receivers coach Henry Ellard told Newsday. "But that's what makes him so special, that he can handle any kind of situation.

"Guys in his situation, you just don't see very often. Talking about a model of consistency in everything he does, he's somebody Mark [Sanchez] knows is going to be in the right place at the right time at any given point. There's no doubt about that and the way he carries himself is a great role model for these guys as a professional and how you should go about your business.

"You don't have to say a whole lot to be effective at what you do, and everybody respects him for that.''

Cotchery tore his groin making that spectacular grab in overtime against the Browns last year. He begins training camp on the physically unable to perform list, because he's still recovering from February back surgery to correct a herniated disc. He said he's feeling great, but there's no definitive timetable for him to begin practicing.

This week is mostly about building himself up physically, preparing for a possible return to the field next week. He spent the bulk of the offseason strengthening his body's core, and also worked on stabilizing his balance. He said he's as healthy as he's been in "two, three years."

"When you are playing through injuries and all of those things, you kind of get used to your body not working in the right way," Cotchery said. "But knowing how my body feels now, it's a great feeling."

A much better one than hearing your name being dangled as trade bait, which Cotchery is sure won't affect him at all.

"When you come in the building, it's time to work," he said. "That serves as a distraction from all the outside things going on. Once I'm in this building, I'm working. That's everyone's approach in that locker room and in this building. I don't spend any time thinking about that."

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