By Justin Paley
Jets Staff Writer
August 31st, 2004

Jets General Manager Terry Bradway has made many moves this summer. Among them were signing free agent G Pete Kendall and free agent QB Quincy Carter. But the biggest move is expected to come later today or tomorrow when QB Chad Pennington signs a contract extension.

Jets General Manager Terry Bradway has made many moves this summer. Among them were signing free agent G Pete Kendall and free agent QB Quincy Carter. But the biggest move is expected to come later today or tomorrow when QB Chad Pennington signs a contract extension. “I believe it will happen because both sides have respect for each other and the common goal is to win a championship,” Pennington said.

Jets assistant general manager Mike Tannenbaum and Tom Condon, Pennington’s agent, have been in constant talks trying to finalize a contract extension. According to numerous reports, they are very close and Pennington will sign a deal that will pay him as much as $22 million in guaranteed money over six or seven years. It would be the richest contract in club history.

The timing is so important since Pennington set a deadline of September 1 for contract negotiations. If nothing is finalized by tomorrow, he will wait until the end of the regular season to sit down again.

Condon has a history of negotiating big contracts for his clients. He has secured contracts for Colts QB Peyton Manning, Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson, Bucs DE Simeon Rice, and Giants QB Eli Manning.

Currently the highest paid player on the Jets roster is RB Curtis Martin, who makes $5.2 million a year.

If Pennington stays healthy, he will make his first start on opening day September 12 against Cincinnati. While Pennington says getting an extension won’t make him play better, it creates a sense of excitement. “It gives me more than one chance to win a Super Bowl,” Pennington said.

Pennington is very down to earth and knows that winning will make him a household name, like Johnny Unitas and Joe Montana. “I’m not into quarterback-celebrity status at all,” Pennington said. “The reason those guys developed a name is because they won. Not only did they win games, but they won championships. That’s the bottom line. Once you start losing, nobody really wants to hear about you, look at you, talk to you.”

Head Coach Herman Edwards praises Pennington on an almost daily basis and he has been asked to do a lot with Vinny Testaverde no longer here. Edwards knows for Pennington to take the next step, he needs to win a championship. “He has that charisma,” the head coach said. “He has that ability. The way he plays, his passion for the game, his mannerisms as he is playing on the football field. I think people kind of like that. He has all that. What he has to do is put a couple of those trophies behind him.”

After Pennington is signed, the next big concern is signing Pro Bowl DE Shaun Ellis before the start of the season.


Edwards said Pennington will start on Friday but he most likely will play one series before giving way to QB Quincy Carter, who talked about how the learning process has gone so far. “It’s going good,” Carter said. “It’s starting to slow down for me.” He is excited about seeing his first game action on Friday against Philadelphia. “I’m very excited,” Carter said. “If things go well, you can’t ahead of yourself because there’s still a lot to learn.”


The Jets made two cuts yesterday, as they released LB Quincy Stewart and P Brian Simnjanovski, and one cut today, releasing DE Joey Evans, bringing the number of players on the Jets roster to 72 players. The Jets receive six roster exemptions for players who played the 2004 spring football season in NFL Europe and two bonus exemptions (new to the NFL in 2004) which means the team has met the League’s cut-down to a maximum of 65 players by 4 p.m. today. Simnjanovski, a 6-4, 187-pound punter, signed with the Jets as a free agent on January 27, 2004 before being waived on August 15, 2004 and subsequently being re-signed by the Jets on August 19 after Toby Gowin tweaked a groin muscle. This preseason he punted four times for 125 yards (31.3 avg.) with one touchback and two punts downed inside the 20. Stewart, a 6-1, 234-pound outside linebacker, was in his second season with the Jets and his fourth in the NFL. The Louisiana Tech product originally broke into the NFL as a rookie free agent with San Francisco in 2001 before heading to the Denver Broncos prior to the 2003 season. He signed with the Jets as a free agent on September 30, 2003 and made his biggest impact as a Jet on special teams last season when he helped to preserve a win over the Houston Texans with an all-out hustle play when he tracked down loose KOR man J.J. Moses three-quarters of the way down the field. Stewart had one tackle in preseason game one at NO, added three tackles in a reserve role in game two at IND and notched one tackle in the game three win over the Giants. Evans, a 6’4, 279-pound defensive end, signed with the Jets on February 2, 2004 and was allocated to the NFL Europe’s Frankfurt Galaxy. Evans played in preseason game one at New Orleans but didn’t play in either game two at Indianapolis or game three vs. the Giants due to a foot injury.

The Jets must cut 20 players by Sunday’s deadline and Edwards said it will be the toughest cuts he’s had to make since he’s been here. “The toughest cuts to make will be at linebacker, receiver, running back, secondary, and tight ends,” Edwards said. Among the players on the bubble are WR Matt Dominguez, WR Ken-Yon Rambo, RB Ian Smart, RB Johnathan Reese, S Derek Pagel, S Rashad Washington, S Omare Lowe, CB Andrew Davison, and TE Mikhael Ricks.

INJURY REPORTHead Coach Herman Edwards said CB Ray Mickens will undergo a second MRI later this week or the beginning of next week to determine the severity of his knee injury. CB Donnie Abraham and S Jon McGraw are both questionable for Friday night after getting injuring against the Giants.

Here is the status of all injured players for Friday night’s final preseason game against the Eagles.

-WR Wayne Chrebet(knee/quad): Out for Friday
-CB Ray Mickens (knee): Out for Friday.
-DE Bryan Thomas (hamstring): Out for Friday.
-FB B.J. Askew (shoulder): Questionable for Friday.
-DT Josh Evans (back): Questionable for Friday.
-G Brent Smith(triceps): Questionable for Friday.
-CB Donnie Abraham (bruised knee): Questionable for Friday.
-S Jon McGraw (groin): Questionable for Friday.

Be sure to check back to Jets often for all of the latest NY Jets news and reports.

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