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Pennington Staying With Jets

By Jets Insider.com Staff
January 7th, 2008
Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum had his end of the year session with the media today. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum had his end of the year session with the media today. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
Don’t be packing Chad’s bags just yet.

Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum confirmed at his annual post-season session with the media that veteran QB Chad Pennington will be back next season and will compete for the starting job.

The news isn’t earth shattering considering the performance of Kellen Clemens and the unimpressive pool of veteran QB’s that will be available as free agents this off-season. Clemens, who started eight games for the Jets this season and finished with only 5 TD’s and 10 INT’s and a 61 QB Rating. Pennington threw 10 TD’s and finished with an 86 QB rating but uncharacteristically made several mistakes, including 9 INT’s.

Tannenbaum said they would “listen” if any trade offers came in but he expected Pennington to be in camp next July. The QB is slated to make $4.8MM in base salary next year but it shouldn’t be a big issue since the team is reportedly close to $30MM under next year’s salary cap. The big problem is that if Pennington is indeed traded and Clemens does not progress the team is in big trouble. With the top free-agents QB’s being Daunte Culpepper, Rex Grossman and Josh McCown, the Jets don’t have a lot of places to turn.

The rest of the session provided little earth shattering news as Tannenbaum said he said he expected LB Jonathan Vilma back who’s season ended with an injured knee. He also mentioned he wanted to keep veteran WR Laveranues Coles a Jet for a “long time” but made no mention of a contract extension.

Regarding coaches, he gave no indication of Defensive Coordinator Bob Sutton’s status saying that the team is evaluating all of the coaches but did confirm that Offensive Coordinator Brian Shottenheimer is interviewing for the Head Coaching position in Baltimore.

Other Tidbits:

-If Sutton is indeed released, Oakand DC Rob Ryan probably won’t be available as the Raiders announced yesterday despite reports otherwise, that Ryan has not been released and will likely be retained. Ryan’s brother Rex, could still be a possibility if he is not hired as a head coach by another team. Rex was fired as Baltimore’s DC when Head Coach Brian Billick was released last week .

-Speaking of Baltimore...if Brian Shottenheimer is indeed hired by the Ravens, the Jets could turn to former Miami Head Coach Cam Cameron to come aboard as OC. Cameron, who worked on the Chargers' staff with Shottenheimer prior to both of them moving, is heralded as a very talented OC despite his Dolphins disaster. He would also bring the same system that Shottenheimer now runs with the Jets.

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