Chad Pennington deserved better. Wait a minute, no he didn’t.
This is a business and Pennington is a good guy caught in a bad situation.
Correction: He’s a good guy with a bad arm caught in a bad situation. It happens.
Pennington knew he was on the clock once Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum ambled up to him after practice on Wednesday and informed the 32-year-old former starter that he’d received another call from the Packers about Brett Favre, according to the New York Daily News. Right then, Pennington should have packed his locker.
Within a few hours, the deal was done: Favre was a Jet, and Pennington was no longer.
Anyone who thinks the Jets should not have done this deal is delusional. Quite frankly, the Jets had to do this deal.
They had to do the deal because even with the myriad offseason moves they’d made, the Jets were still Invisible Men in New York, irrelevant in the shadow of their reigning Super Bowl champion neighbors.
They had to do the deal because neither Pennington nor QB teammate Kellen Clemens inspires much excitement or confidence. Some perspective: Favre has by far more TD passes (440) than the combined total of the 18 QBs (307) that have taken snaps for the Jets since the ex-Packer began his consecutive starts streak in 1992. Pennington had 82 of the TDs; Clemens, 5. Good guys both, but not good enough.
The Jets also had to do the deal because they’re moving into a spankin’ new $1.6 billion stadium in 2009, and while they haven’t yet announced the specifics, chances are the team will follow the Giants and charge fans huge bucks – seat licenses, the new dirtiest word in sports – for the right to then buy season tickets. Last month, the Giants announced they would charge from $1,000 to $20,000 for season seats.
If this trade were a magic trick, the Favre move would be called a diversion – some good news to deflect attention away from (or at least soften) the painful news sure to come. Oooooo. Ahhhhh. Ouch!
Pennington, with a $6 million base salary, was just collateral damage. It had to be done.