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Chad Pennington hits free agent market [update]

Chad Pennington is now a free agent, having been released by the Jets at 4 p.m.

The Miami Herald and other media organizations are reporting the Dolphins and Tom Condon, the agent for the jettisoned former Jets quarterback Chad Pennington, have discussed Pennington playing for Miami.

I would warn you that it is an initial conversation, although the sides have already talked twice today. Condon, meanwhile, is also reaching out to other teams with the Vikings and Kansas City being among them.

[UPDATE] The Vikings I am now being told by an NFL source are not enthusiastic about Pennington. The Kansas City Chiefs, coached by Herm Edwards, are also interested in Pennington, according to an NFL source. Edwards coached Pennington in New York. If I am Pennington, I try to get on the New England Patriots, whose backup situation is terrible.

This nonetheless has the feel of the Dolphins being aggressive.

And so here are some things to consider:

1. Condon, the agent, is not about doing anyone a favor. Assuming there is more than one team interested in Pennington, Condon will try to get some sort of guarantees from the team, among them an open competition for the starting job if he can get it. The Dolphins would give him that opportunity.

2. Condon is going to try to milk as much money for Pennington as possible. It would be a contract that would pay Pennington upwards of $5-$6 million if he plays a certain percentage of downs. So this won't be a cheap acquisition if Pennington is the starter.

3. Pennington would be attracted to the Dolphins because it gives him two opportunities to stick it to the Jets. But he'd also be very attracted to Minnesota because the Vikes play a West Coast offense and they play indoors, which mitigate his questionable arm strength.

4. What does this all mean for Josh McCown and John Beck? Bad news. We all know that Chad Henne is the quarterback the Dolphins will look toward next season and perhaps even late this season. Short-term this was to be a team either McCown or Beck were to lead.

But clearly if the Dolphins pull the trigger on Pennington, it shows they believe a guy who has had two throwing shoulder surgeries, was hurt much of last year and lost his starting job and wasn't really assured of winning the job in New York, is better than either McCown or Beck. And if Pennington makes the team it clearly means either Beck or McCown are OUT, GONE, HASTA LA VISTA, CIAO, BON VOYAGE.

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