With Brett Favre signed and secured, the New York Jets have officially ended the Chad Pennington era … by releasing him.
As soon as Favre was obtained via trade, the Jets hinted that they’d release Pennington instead of trying to trade him. And release him they did: not a full 24 hours after the news broke that Favre had been obtained (a move which still puzzles me), the Jets chartered a flight for Pennington out of Cleveland, where he had been prepared to play for them in tonight’s pre-season opener, to fly him home and to dismiss him from the team.
In a year’s worth of classless acts in New York sports — in a nine-month span that has seen Joe Torre and Willie Randolph both have their ties severed with teams that treated their accomplishments and departures with little respect — I suppose this move should come as no surprise.
But it’s still difficult to fathom how a player who has fought through such adversity, who has competed for his own starting job multiple times — many more than a proven, seasoned veteran player should need to — and done so without complaining or saying a single bad word about his team, how a player who has done so much for his teammates and his team, fought back from (and played with) multiple injuries that would have ended the careers of some, and who still somehow retains the career, all-time record for best QB completion percentage, could be dropped like a bag of old, worn-out socks.
I guess it’s all about money: now that the Jets have shamelessly instituted the same notorious money-scheming seat licensing plan as their big brother Giants, they’ll need a big-time name to help draw fans and fill the seats. Favre certainly fits the bill.
But I don’t think I’ll be there to help pay their new lease: I’ll keep an eye out and see which team is smart enough to pick up Pennington.
Update: Tim Graham at ESPN.com has just dug up an Elias stat that shows “Chad better than Brett on long balls“. To summarize: on passing attempts longer than 20 yards, Pennington’s stats on completions, TD percentage, interception percentage, yards per attempt, and passer rating over the past four years are all better than Favre’s.
This move is just making less and less sense, and it made very little sense to begin with. It’s encouraging to hear that not a full day since Pennington’s release by the Jets, his agent has already been contacted by six teams, all expressing interest in his client.