The Jets had their “state-of-the-team” address today, and one of the major things to come of it is that Chad Pennington will be back in the fold with the team and will compete for the starting quarterback job come 2008. Many thought that 2007 would be the last season in the Big Apple for Pennington, and rumors got even stronger when Kellen Clemens replaced Pennington midway through the season. But instead of running with the position, Clemens didn’t play all that well, leaving the door open for Pennington to possibly retake the job back next season.
Pennington is set to make $4.8 million next season, but according to GM Mike Tannenbaum, the QB will be asked to take a pay cut to make him more affordable against the teams salary cap. As far as if the Jets would move Pennington if teams (how about the Chiefs?) come calling, Tannenbaum didn’t exactly rule it out. “We would listen to anything,” Tannenbaum said, “but I expect Chad to be back.” This last season Pennington played in 9 games, starting 8, and threw for 1,765 yards with 10 TD’s and nine picks. He had a compeltion percentage of 68.8, and overall a QB rating of 86.1. He will be 32 when next season starts.
As for Clemens, the 24-year-old started 8 games and played in 10 overall. He threw five touchdowns and 10 picks, and at seasons end threw for 1,529 yards with a QB rating of 60.9. In the last game of the year vs the Chiefs he was 13-for-25 for 115 yards with 1 TD. Clemens has been with the team for two seasons, and while many inside the organization think he will be a solid QB in years to come, his first year as a part-time starter did not get off to that good of a start, to the point where they may shift gears and end up going back to Pennington next season.