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Old 03-28-2008, 12:33 PM  
Wile_E_Coyote Wile_E_Coyote is offline
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Pennington places team ahead of self — to his detriment

By Mike Florio - SportingNews 14 minutes ago



With the New York Jets giving millions to players who have done nothing for the franchise and poised to commit millions more to veteran receiver Laveranues Coles after he complained publicly (and relentlessly) about his contract, there’s another Jet with a recognizable name who has inexplicably been silent during the team’s otherwise high-noise offseason.

The household name is quarterback Chad Pennington, who is due $6 million this year.

It’s all base salary. So the team holds all the cards. Jets officials can keep Pennington around through the offseason and training camp and the preseason as insurance against a serious injury to and/or the significant ineffectiveness of third-year quarterback Kellen Clemens.

Once the season is ready to roll and the other 31 NFL teams are set at quarterback, the Jets can give Pennington a “take a pay cut or take a hike” ultimatum to dramatically drive down his salary and his cap number.

If the Jets cut Pennington in late August or early September, they’ll pick up $6 million in 2008 cap space and will owe him nothing. He then would be an unrestricted free agent, hoping to land with a team that wouldn’t have had the benefit of getting him up to speed with its system, coaching staff and personnel during the preseason.

Think Byron Leftwich, circa Labor Day Weekend 2007. Suddenly dumped by the Jacksonville Jaguars, Leftwich eventually landed in Atlanta, where he had to learn the Falcons’ offense on the fly. It didn’t work, and he got cut after the season. Now he doesn’t have a job.

It would have been much different for Leftwich if he’d been cut or traded in March or April, and it likewise would be far different for Pennington if he were moved now.

To his credit, Pennington isn’t crowing about his perilous situation. And that’s quite a contrast to Chad Johnson, who is telling anyone and everyone that he wants to leave the Cincinnati Bengals.

Unlike Johnson, Pennington is keeping his head low and his mouth shut.

“I don’t know what the organization’s stance is, and I’m not really concerned about it,” Pennington said after the Jets wrapped up the 2007 season. “I know whatever happens something good will happen for me.”

It’s an amazing perspective. In an era when guys like Coles and ex-Jet Pete Kendall have realized the benefits of becoming a big, fat splinter in the franchise’s foot, Pennington hasn’t forced the issue.

On one hand, it’s odd that any pro athlete would behave this way. On the other hand, it’s refreshing. Pennington has a contract and is respecting that contract. Sure, the Jets can string him along for the entire offseason. Yeah, he’d make more money and have a better chance to start if he were traded to, say, any of the four teams in the NFC North.

Pennington is choosing not to grandstand or posture or politick.

It’s a rare attitude for a modern NFL player, many of whom understandably put their self interests ahead of the team. And it’s not necessarily the wisest business approach for Pennington, who turns 32 on June 26.

Maybe Pennington knows he still has plenty of years left and if he takes the high road in the short term, he’ll rack up enough pigskin karma to extend his career for five or six more seasons.

Then again, Leftwich took the high road last year. And he basically is out of the league at age 28. Mike Florio writes and edits ProFootballTalk.com and is a frequent contributor to Sporting News.
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Old 03-28-2008, 12:45 PM   #2
pikesome pikesome is offline
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A vicious beating will give you the right amount of adverseness.

Unless Pennington has 2 people ahead of him on the depth chart, the idea of him being here sucks. Maybe still then.
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Old 03-28-2008, 12:46 PM   #3
Wile_E_Coyote Wile_E_Coyote is offline
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On the bright side he should be cheap. On the realistic side he should be cheap
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Old 03-28-2008, 12:52 PM   #4
Micjones Micjones is offline
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I really hate the idea that NFL players should be demure.
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Old 03-28-2008, 01:00 PM   #5
Hydrae Hydrae is offline
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He doesn't have much to worry about, he know he has a spot here with the J-E-T-S cut him at any time.
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Old 03-28-2008, 05:32 PM   #6
Spicy McHaggis Spicy McHaggis is offline
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Old 03-28-2008, 05:35 PM   #7
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Old 03-28-2008, 08:18 PM   #8
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I dont think there is enough crazy glue or duct tape to keep Pennington in one piece behind our Offensive Line.
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Old 03-29-2008, 09:40 AM   #9
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