Dolphins sign ex-Jet Chad Pennington
The 32-year-old Pennington, expected to be the starting quarterback for Miami, agreed to the deal Friday worth $11.5 million over two years, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the move hasn't been officially announced.
"We are neither confirming nor denying the report," Dolphins spokesman Harvey Greene said Friday night.
Bill Parcells, now the Dolphins' vice president of football operations, drafted Pennington with the 18th overall pick in 2000 when he was the Jets' general manager.
The Dolphins, coming off a 1-15 season, will open the season against the Jets in Miami, giving Pennington an immediate chance to face his former team.
Before the signing, Pennington said he was disappointed but had no hard feelings after being released by the Jets.
"I have enjoyed it," Pennington said Friday in his first public comments since his release. "I've learned a lot, become a better professional and a better man because of my experience and my time in New York. I don't regret or feel ashamed about anything that happened to me in my time in New York."
Pennington became the popular face of the Jets for several seasons and arrived in camp competing with Kellen Clemens for the starting job. The Jets jettisoned Pennington to clear salary cap space once they got Favre from Green Bay.
"The most difficult part is just the realization that the organization no longer wants you," Pennington said. "You spend eight years there and, in the blink of an eye, you're no longer wanted there."
The 32-year-old Pennington ranks first in NFL history among quarterbacks with at least 1,500 attempts with a 65.6 completion percentage. He was often recognized as being a leader in the huddle and an intelligent field general, but was dogged throughout his time in New York for his lack of arm strength.
Injuries were also a problem for Pennington, who broke his wrist in 2003 and had two rotator cuff operations in eight months in 2005. His career was in doubt, but he bounced back and was the NFL Comeback Player of the Year after beating out Clemens, Brooks Bollinger and Patrick Ramsey for the starting job in 2006. He had his best all-around season, throwing for a career-high 3,352 yards while again leading the Jets to the playoffs and starting every game for the first time.
He struggled last season, going 1-7 as the starter and was benched after Week 8 in favor of Clemens. Pennington had done a bit better than Clemens early in training camp, and was considered the favorite to open the season as the starter at Miami.
Then, came the news that Favre was coming to town. Pennington found out from coach Eric Mangini around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, shortly before the team announced the deal.
AP Sports Writer Dennis Waszak in New York and Associated Press Writer Antonio Gonzalez in Miami contributed to this report.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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