Chad Pennington is one of the most polarizing players in Jets history. His eight year tenure created plently of arguments and discussions among fans as to whether he was good enough or could ever stay healthy long enough to carry Gang Green all the way. He had some great seasons like 2002 and 2004 and some devastating injuries before the Brett Favre trade forced him out.
Pennington went to Miami and again showed why fans could never come to a consensus on him. He led the Dolphins to a surprising division title in 2008 then promptly played a bomb of a game in the first round of the Playoffs against Rex Ryan's Ravens defense. Miami was one and done. He started for three straight losses Miami suffered at the start of 2009 and was then lost for the year with a shoulder injury.
You may question how good of a starter he's been, but I don't think there's any question he would be a great backup quarterback. The real irony is the Jets have finally built a team he would thrive on. A strong defense and running game would take all the pressure off him and put him into a game manager role. He would be asked to hit a pass every here and there. His use of play action is as good as any quarterback not named Peyton Manning. He's proven he can consistently get teams to the Playoffs if nothing else. The arm strength will always be an issue. He can't make every NFL throw but makes up to it to a degree with deadly accuracy. The bottom line is no backup quarterback is without warts. Compare him to other backups, and Chad would probably be the most effective.
He's also a great leader and team player. He would be a great guy to show Mark Sanchez the ropes. I don't just mean on the field either. Unlike any other active quarterback, Chad has the unique experience of knowing what it's like to be the future franchise quarterback of the Jets. He can help Mark mentally prepare on and off the field.
I know some of you have discussed the potential for a quarterback controversy with Pennington back in New York. I just don't see it. One quarterback is 23, has a $50 million contract, is coming off a great Playoffs, and has his best football in front of him. The other is 33 and coming off a third major shoulder injury. Maybe there will be a controversy among the fans, but a lot of them were calling for Sanchez's benching even without a decent backup this year. Rex Ryan wouldn't make a change.
The issue I see here is Pennington. There's absolutely no incentive for him to come back to New York. The end of his time here was bitter for him. Why would he want to come back to play a secondary role? He's damaged goods, but given the lack of quality quarterback play in this league, you have to think some team will at least give him a chance to compete for a starting job. Even if that doesn't happen, why wouldn't he choose to be a backup in Miami, where he loves it, and mentor Chad Henne over coming home.
I love Chad. I vote pursue, but I don't see it happening.
How do you vote?
Should the Jets pursue unrestricted free agent quarterback Chad Pennington?
This poll is closed
Yes, but it's a pointless chase. He'd never resign with the Jets