HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) _ Jim Sweeney, a starting offensive lineman for the New York Jets for the last 126 games, figures he'll start again Sunday - even though he was cut on Monday.

Sweeney was one of eight vested veterans whose contracts were terminated as the Jets got down to the NFL roster limit of 47. About to enter his 10th pro season, Sweeney didn't seem concerned by the move.

''As far as I know, I'm just getting ready for Denver,'' Sweeney said of New York's opener. ''As far as I'm concerned, I'll be back tomorrow; they're allowed to sign me tomorrow. That's the way it is with the new bargaining agreement.

''Basically, they gave me a day off.''

Sweeney met with Jets general manager Dick Steinberg and said he was assured the team would re-sign him when it can add six players Tuesday afternoon. As a vested veteran, Sweeney is a free agent. Only players with fewer than four years experience have to pass through waivers when cut, under the new collective bargaining contract.

''There is nothing to lock them into any agreement,'' Steinberg said. ''They're free agents.

''You will see this all over the league - crosstown, north, south, east and east - names that don't make sense.''

Joining another team was not in Sweeney's thinking, however.

''I always claimed to be a team player and this is something I want to do for the team. My only incentive is I love these guys. I don't know if any other team would put up with me.''

Instead, the Jets expect to be putting up with Sweeney at center in a blocking unit that looked good for most of training camp.

Another veteran who was cut, defensive lineman Paul Frase, also expected to be re-signed. Frase, a Jets since 1988, plays every position on the line and started 12 games last season.

''I hope to be here Wednesday, getting ready for the Broncos,'' Frase said. ''Some things were discussed. I have a good feeling where things stand.''

Other defensive veterans released were tackle Bill Pickel, end Karl Wilson and backs Dennis Price, David Tate and Marcus Turner. Tight end Ken Whisenhunt was the only offensive veteran cut.

The Jets waived three receivers - Mario Bailey, Dale Dawkins and David Daniels, whom they acquired earlier this month from Seattle. They also waived defensive backs Victor Green and Damon Pieri, the only rookies released Monday.

If any of those five players clear waivers, the Jets can bring them back for the 53-man squad. In addition, there will be a five-man practice squad available to each team for rookies and first-year players.

For now, the Jets have only four wide receivers and six defensive backs, Both positions figure to be bolstered.

As of the final cut, the Jets had six rookies: running backs Adrian Murrell and Richie Anderson; guard David Ware; tight end Fred Baxter; linebacker Marvin Jones; and defensive tackle Coleman Rudolph. All were 1993 draftees.