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Chad Pennington agrees to deal with Dolphins

The Dolphins have agreed to a multi-year contract with former Jets quarterback Chad Pennington, according to two NFL sources.

Pennington is expected to fly to South Florida Saturday or early Sunday, meaning he might be present when the team plays the Tampa Bay Bucs in its preseason opener at Dolphin Stadium. That assumes Pennington passes his physical.

Terms of the deal are not immediately available, although Foxsports.com, which first reported the story, says it is a two-year deal. The Dolphins are neither confirming or denying the report, which is code for it is true.

So this much is certain: It is hard to see a Dolphins team with Pennington, Josh McCown and John Beck on the roster. One of those latter two will be gone soon.

It is possible the Dolphins will try to trade either McCown or Beck once the coaching staff is convinced Pennington is better. That may not take very long. The Dolphins, I am told, didn't give Pennington any guarantees he would be the starter the entire season, but expect him to be the starter in the regular-season opener versus ... the New York Jets.

This move, by the way, is fraught with contradiction.

The team spent the entire offseason ignoring starting-caliber talent in free agency simply because some of the players were over 30 years old. The idea was to sign players that would still be in their primes in three or four years when the team came out of the talent darkness it is currently in. Pennington, 32, is not likely to still be around then and his contract confirms that.

So what gives? If you want to upgrade the QB spot, this moves does that. Great! But then the question becomes if you decided to break your own rules on the QB position, why didn't Bill Parcells upgrade the other areas of need with veterans? You cannot have it both ways.

Either the Dolphins were wrong at the beginning of free agency by not adding high-caliber vets then or are showing their desperation now by adding Pennington.

One can make the argument the Dolphins are brining in Pennington to upgrade but also to mentor Chad Henne. Well, they also could have signed Pro Bowl guard Alan Faneca, also 32, to upgrade the offensive line and mentor players such as Donald Thomas, Justin Smiley and Jake Long. They might have tried to sign Randy Moss to upgrade the receivers corps and mentor Ted Ginn Jr.

If the argument is made for Pennington, it can apply to the other positions, otherwise the Dolphins are showing they have no long-term plan they will stick with. Either they are building with youth or they are not. Either they are going all-out to acquire the best available players, no matter what their age, or they are not.

This addition also shows that the entire offseason of working with Beck and McCown was at least, in part, a failure. They both threw some 5,000 passes with Miami coaches in the offseason and the team was confident they were good enough to compete for a starting job.

So what does the team do after the first two weeks of training camp? It looks to Quincy Carter as a possible option at quarterback when no other team would even give him a workout and then chases Pennington despite the fact he was just discarded by the Jets.

Makes me wonder how the agenda can change so quickly. Makes me wonder if this isn't something of a return to the days of double-minded personnel acquisition.

Anyway, Miami adds Pennington to the group of the past three Miami signal callers that were added at a high price. Two failed. We'll see about Pennington. The list:

Player...............Previous team........Problem....................Result

Pennington.............Jets...............Weak arm/shoulder.........????????

Trent Green.........Kansas City..........Scrambled brain....broke more eggs

Daunte Culpepper.....Minnesota.........Spaghetti knee.......Could not move



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This was a done deal back in February!

I'm not a big fan of this move if he's assumed to be the starter. I like him over McCown, but I still think Beck should be the starter.

Mando, I'm in class and I almost yelled when your blog was posted. This is nuts man...what the heck happened to "rebuilding"? Do you really think Pennington is the future, now? I like his leadership ability, no doubt, which I think will help cement the Dolphins and might be a great influence especially on Henne, but I just feel the fins are chaning so fast that it might take many more weeks to get a rythm. Thanks for uncovering the story!

Somebody might want to call Josh McCown and tell him to pack his things.

Pennington for McCown ? Up to now, it looks a good deal. But keep Beck. He is the future....

Batch just broke his collarbone, the Steelers have no veteran backup. Send McCown for a 4th or 5th rounder?

just when you thought the new regime knew what they were doing,they pull a Wanny/mueller/every idiot since Shula move,to what end did we sign this washed up noodle arm? 40 years of being a Fins fan and i don't know if i can take anymore incompetence.it's just pathetic

pennington will make 11.5 million over two years. he's the starter because that is a hell of a lot of money.

Interesting. I say cut McCown.. We don't need two Veterans on the team. I like this, Pennington is a very smart QB. His arm is lacking, but he will be a better mentor to Beck and Henne. He's familar with both Henning and Parcells.

Plus, we will have an inside look into the Jets playbook.

11.5 million dollars over two years for pennington. he's the starter because that is a hell of a lot of money.

I think McCown and Beck are playing tomorrow night and they will have a lot at stake.

I love it!

I like McCown as a person but he's had many many chances and I think his potential has been reached so I think he will be the one to go because ALL logical people KNOW that John Beck does have enormous potential and upside and HASNT had near enough time for ANYONE, besides the people who think 4 games under last years circumstances are adequate,to determine him a bust or a keeper but if Beck gets cut then I wish him the best and hope his next teams fans give him the 2-3 years that 99.7% of QB's need to be effective and consistent in the NFL.

Thanks for the info as always Armando.

CRAP! I couldn't root for Noodle even if he was still a good QB. $12 Million, Are you kidding! This is a joke. When will the Fins learn that retreads QBs are not the answer for this team. I had 100% confidence in Bill and Jeff. With all the moves to replace old vets with young talent, I don't get this one at all.

i don't think you cut mccown because you'll have to eat over six million dollars that you gave him. plus the 11.5 million that you just gave chad...well thats a lot of money. cutting beck will cost them nothing.

this is an upgrade over beck all beck throws is check downs this guy is a leader and can get chad henne ready for the future!!1

this is an upgrade over beck all beck throws is check downs this guy is a leader and can get chad henne ready for the future!!1

Eric, we are still way under the cap. We wouldn't be able to start the regular season this far under. Cutting McCown would hurt for a year, but that's really not a problem this year. As long as the money frees up in 2009. So, McCown can be sent packing... Or we can trade him to KC for a 6th rounder I bet.

Welcome the 2009 Miami CowJetPhins!!!

Pennington is only 32... do you feel like going to war right now with our current roster with the inexperience of John Beck & Chad Henne leading our way out of this mess? Maybe in a few months, maybe next year.

I think it's a smart move to grab Chad... here's some notes...

* Selected AP Comeback Player of the Year in 2006 as he started 16 games for first time in career following season-ending shoulder injury in '05.

■ In the three seasons he has started at least 12 games (2002, '04, '06), has led Jets to playoffs.

■ Has five playoff starts (2-3) and ranks first in completions (107), attempts (178), yards (1,166) and TDs (seven) in Jets postseason history.

■ Enters 2008 having attempted 1,919 passes and completed 1,259 passes for 13,738 yards with 82 TDs and 55 INTs for Jets franchise-record 88.9 passer rating.

■ Surpassed Kurt Warner in 2007 to become most accurate passer among QBs with at least 1,500 attempts in NFL history (65.6 percent) ahead of Warner's 65.1 percent.

■ In 2006 AFC Wild Card Game, found WR Jerricho Cotchery for 77-yard TD, longest play of both players’ careers and longest offensive scoring play in Jets’ postseason history

■ In 2002, took over starting QB job in fifth game, had 8-4 record as starter, established club record with 68.9 completion percentage, and led NFL with team-record 104.2 passer rating.

■ Earned AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors three times in 2002, first Jet since QB Ken O’Brien in 1986 to accomplish that trifecta.

■ Possesses top five single-season completion percentage marks in club history (68.9 in 2002, 68.8 in 2007, 65.4 in 2004, 64.5, 2006, 63.6 in 2003)


Pennington has one of the most accurate arms in the NFL. And he has one of the cleanest, sneakiest handoffs of any quarterback in the league. This is a good move for the Fins. All these naysayers are probably the folks who were mad they didn't take Brady Quinn. Be serious, people. Brady Quinn was overrated and drafting him would've been a huge mistake. Chad Pennington can turn the Fins around and help set the stage for a younger quarterback in just a few years. Smart move. Go Fins!

As hard as it is to root for Chad, we need him. Why shouldn't Henne learn from the most accurate quarterback. Sadly I think Beck will be gone. He has shown nothing in camp and continues to look lost. Henne is the future and Chad gives us the best chance right now. Game 1 should be interesting..

As hard as it is to root for Chad, we need him. Why shouldn't Henne learn from the most accurate quarterback. Sadly I think Beck will be gone. He has shown nothing in camp and continues to look lost. Henne is the future and Chad gives us the best chance right now. Game 1 should be interesting..

This is terrible! I don't want to root for this guy. He can't throw. Who cares if he's smart

I am not feeling blue anymore. Under the circumstances this is a most needed and good move. Get rid of Beck and keep Josh. Never liked Beck besides he is Cameron trash, just like Elf was Wanny's. Don't worry he will have ample work in South America with his Black Tie, White Shirt and Bicycle as missionary for the Church of Crap Saints and Ultimate Day Gays or whatever that sect is called. Excellent decision.

The noodle arm as some of you like to call him didnt seem to have a problem throwing nice bombs to Coles when he faced us..just becuase we are rebuilding doesnt mean you shouldnt sprinkle in some veteran leadership, and when coaches and fellow players speak of Chad the first thing they say is leader ship, the young QBs will still get developed, it wont hurt for the team to win a few games as they mature either, hes a stop gap not the future, and probably a good one, im going to attach a qoute from one of the few classy Jets fans to give you an idea of the respect this kid has,one more thing,complaints about 12 mil over 2 years for a 32 yr old possible starter, Favre is making 12 million this year at 39.Enjoy......

"I gotta tell ya, as a season ticket holder of the Jets, I respected Chad more than most anyone else who have worn the green and white.

Now he plays for our rival Miami. I, along with a hoard of Jet faithful, will give this man a standing ovation when he comes through the tunnel at the Meadowlands on Dec. 28. As for the Tuna...............well that's another story.

But Chad, you will hear the chat CHAADD PENNINGTON!!! Somehow with all those sylables, you'll hear it,. Not like the classic "Derek Jeter" chants over at Yankee Stadium, but you'll hear our throaty chants and we'll cheer you at the alumni on field get togethers after you retire, even if you a currently "a fish".

Chad, good luck to you...........but not on gameday vs. the Green and White of course!!! :) Godspeed Chad."

Dude, are you drunk? What role is it that you think McCown supposed to fill? Keep the chair warm for Henne until he's ready, right? They just found someone better to do the same thing over the same period of time (however long that is). Pennington's is a superior QB and leader to Chainsaw.

I'm sick and tired of getting swept by the Jets.
If he can come in and beat them than I'm all for it. Man how our franchise has crumbled. We used to own the AFC East and now we're the whipping boys.

The signing of Pennington marks the beginning fo the end for Parcells, Ireland and Sparano. Over before anything began as just like their predacessors the have chosen poorly when it comes to the starting QB.

Wannstedt chose Fiedler.
Saban chose Culpepper.
Cameron chose Green/Lemon.

Now in what is set to be a "rebuilding" year the Miami Dolphins sign yet another veteran "has been" whom has shown he can not win a big game, let alone stay healthy for an entire season. For only 1 of Pennington's 9 seasons in the NFL has he played in all 16 games. Including that 16 game season he only played 10 or more games 3 other seasons. With 2 shoulder surgeries on his throwing shoulder Chad Pennington has one of the weakest arms in the NFL.

Who will be the next V.P. G.M. and Headcoach as it's over for the Tuna Trio.

I would choose Pennington over Mcown any day. Whoever thinks Mcown is our future is retarded. I think the coaching staff is beginning to see that HENNE is the future but not the present. Chad is a luxury to have because he can pass his knowledge of the game and being a professional to the younger QB's. What does Mcown do for us? What does he pass on? Bad decision making. He's been around for 6 years and still hasn't cracked it. It isn't worth betting on that he ever will.

Great move, F___ Farve and the jetz!

He (pennington} always beat the snot out of the dolphins but who hasn't these last few years. Who does he beat otherwise. Jets won 4 games last and 2 of those came against the dolphins. I don't like this move at all. For the record, I think Becks gone---the nfl game is to quick for him. Prove me wrong pennington but for me you have alot of proving to do!

I love this move. Just because we are rebuilding doesnt mean we should just throw games away, this guy has alot to teach Henne and Beck, dont forget the way we have been owned by him the last few years. He may not have a gun for a arm but he isn`t prone to those big game changing mistakes, he plays smart football and smart football wins games when the talent isn`t the best in the leagu e. The same people that dont like this move are the same "fans" that will want to hang Beck or Henne after a few bad starts and will bring out the Gillete blades ready to slice there wrist.

LOOK people they only signed Chad Pennington for 2 years to babysit while Henne gets used to the NFL. THIS was a great move come on now Beck and Mccown are NOT even close to as good as Chad just look at the stats and the comments the coach has said on Beck and Mccown and how terrible they have been thus far in camp.

I like Scotty's analysis of Pennington a couple of posts back. I think this is a good move for the Dolphins. He is better than McCown and Beck and helps transition the Dolphins into the future with Henne. Good job reporting this story, Armando. He is a good, accurate quarterback and if anything, will not set this team back. Yes the Dolphins are rebuilding, but throwing Beck or Henne back out there to get beatin around does not help either of thier developments as a QB. I like the move.

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whats everyone's problem with this? it's obvious pennington is here to teach henne/beck and prepare them for the future. would you rather have mccown doing it? or maybe quincy carter? i'm happy with the most accurate passer in nfl history being a mentor to those guys.

Eddie -

Why don't you just let us all in on the secret of the hidden jewel QB that Parcells / Sparano / Ireland were supposed to get in the off-season but were too stupid to get?

Share with me please - I want to know where they messed up that bad that they didn't pursue that "hidden" qb and will be banished from the team next year....

And it's why we need to look for a new trio...

Please enlighten us all....

This does not change the agenda. This does not change rebuilding. In fact, it accelerates it.

It gives QB-of-the-future a successful veteran to learn from. It gives the young and under-developed WR corp a QB who can accurately deliver the ball.

Chad Pennington will not be the starting QB when the Dolphins become a contender. But he will help this team get there.

NO way this makes any sense at all. NONE. Do you know what happens when you have a QB who can't throw over 30 yards? A stacked defense with 8 in the box. And with our young and unexperienced OL this spells disaster for our ground game. I'm sorry but Parcells blew it. Not only did he mess up the roster, he blew the salary cap too. He has spent just 17-18 million on 2 mediocre/has been QB's for the next 2 years. I'm sorry Dolfans but we have a sorry franchise. I feel like crying.

are some of you drunk? The fins are built to run and not turn the ball over... Chad completes almost 67% of his passes. I don't care if he can't throw the ball 60 yards downfield... How good does that make Kyle boller?

Run ricky, run ronnie, and complete 3rd down throws (and if the drive is penalty free, they'll be short passes).

Good stop gap til beck or henne is ready to play. Which could be this year if chad gets hurt. I'd rather root for a former jet, than a qb that played for det, oak and ari (how many losers can he play for until you see the common denominator?)

Oh come on! If we were gonna do something stupid for now instead of the future then get Favre. We need to find a quaterback for the future not win now with a has been. Just when I was looking forward to the season bonehead garbage starts again!

The biggest point most are missing is we didn't have to give up a second round pick this time around. We got a freebee that actually upgrades us (even if not by much) from what we already had. Right now I think Beck and the Clown are in a battle to see who stays and who gets traded. We paid too much to the Clown to just release and Beck is worth some kind of draft pick so we can't just waive either. So whomever sucks most in the 1st preseason game will be packaged in a deal this coming week.

If only Wanny were coaching in the NFL still, I'm sure we could get a first rounder for either, perhaps a first and second in next years draft for both....hahahaha!!! By the way, what is everyone concerned about his arm for, we're running the ball 70/30 this season anyways. We're gonna run the New England / Dallas / Indy offense .... dink and dunk and run the ball. Now we have the perfect QB that can run the dink & dunk and 2 running backs that will be the majority of the offense.

Well, I think we've just upgraded to 5, maybe 7 wins next season, (we'll still get around the #6 pick which is good).

Rick i remember plenty of games where Pennington through plenty of long throws on our D and beat us. You tell me how a qb who is the most accurate out there and even had a 86.1 passer rating last year is bad for us when we have no one with experience.?

I think the agenda changed quickly when they realized that they didn't have a starting QB. Pennington over McCown makes perfect sense when you consider the fact that Josh has been in the league for 6 or 7 years and has still not won the starting job over Beck who has been inconsistent. And now Henne is sneaking up on both of them. McCown was never going to be "the future" and I'm sure they're wondering about Beck at this point. Chad has always been a class act and former Jet or not I'm happy to have him on the team. He is an obvious upgrade. My problem with him is not so much his arm strength (he makes up for it by making smart decisions with the ball)but with his lack of durability. Didn't Parcells say they wanted tough guys who don't get injured? Someone on the Jets o-line once referred to Chad as "egg". When reporters asked him what he meant he said "it's like trying to protect an eggshell from being hit by a truck, if you don't get it out of the way in time it's going to break". Now this was all in good fun (in the NY post)but there is some truth to every joke. I just hope whomever we keep will be ready to take over WHEN he gets hurt. We now have a young offensive line trying to protect an injury prone QB. IF he can stay healthy I am fine with this move. If he gets hurt then he will do us no good and it will look like a stupid move. Can't wait to hear what the trifecta has to say.

I agree with Pennington over McCown. It sounds as if the coaching staff believes that Henne is the future. So that leaves Beck as the odd man out.
With Pennington's large contract and experience, I dont see Henne getting reps under center once the season starts. I think its best for Henne to sit this year and learn from a good veteran QB.

Im sorry but everyone who bad mouths Jay Fiedler thats silly. He was the only succesful QB since Marino here. Id trade Pennington for McCown any day


Chat Pennington
Quincy Carter
Chad Henne

Traded for 2009 2nd Round Pick of Arizona:

John Beck

Traded for 2009 4th Round Pick of Pittsburgh:

Josh McCown

Look - I bleed orange and aqua just like the next fan and it really sticks in my craw to think this ex-Jet is gonna lead our team - however - Do any of you knocking this deal actually REALLY FEEL CONFIDENT as McCown, Beck or Henne lead this offense this year - YOU DONT AND YOU KNOW IT!! This guy gives us a chance to compete in some of the games this year, a voice to lead the offense and a guy who can actually get the ball to the receivers. look there is no perfect solution people unless Danny boy somehow regresses in age 15 years and signs tomorrow. This is about trying to be competitive and to grow confidence in the young players. WAKE UP PEOPLE - THIS GUY GIVES US A BETTER CHANCE TO WIN - WHICH IS MORE THAN WE GOT RIGHT NOW!!!! Besides, with Pennington, we wont have to worry about hiring Testaverde or Bledsoe.....

I understand replacing McCown with Pennington. But cutting Beck and banking the future all on Henne is dumb. I hope they do the right thing. McCown should go. He's the one who didn't distance himself in his 7th season from a 2nd year and a rookie QB. It's an easy call for me. Unless we have a deal to trade Beck and McCown sticks around as a #2 until Henne is ready. We're going to find out soon enough.

Dear Armando-

I love reading ANYTHING about the dolphins. I check this blog MORE than religiously (fyi I prefer the palmbeachpost because they do live blogs....I read your argument about being more accurate but whatever I read both)But for some reason it doesnt matter what they do, you seem to be the opposite of hopeful. Just because they added ONE guy that was over 30 doesnt mean they totally contradicted their entire off-season. They DID overhaul this team and made it a WHOLE lot younger, just because they signed ONE guy who is 3 years older than the other supposed stop-gap QB (AKA the lesser of two McCowns) doesnt mean they dont know what they're doing. Sure the signing of McCown as the potential starter may have turned out to be a "failure" but at least this regime is willing to correct mistakes they made BEFORE the season starts. Lighten up man! Those couple extra million they throw Chad's way are going to win us 2-3 more games and make it more bearable to be a dolphins fan until Henne is ready a year or two. GREAT MOVE!!!!!!


All you Fantasy Owners sure do think you know what really goes on inside a franchise day in and day out. It's hysterical reading this tripe.

maybe one of us should start talking about the poor decisions you make at your place of employment day in and day out and call your decisions piss poor. Nevermind we have no idea what you do daily, its still fair. After all, we know better than you.

there is no way i can ever root for a jet, especially at quaterback. not a chance i am buying a pennington jersey. I have been a season ticket holder 35 years and I am having a hard time hanging on through all of this. This team isn't even the dolphins this year. We have no identity. Who even are these guys,these coaches, even the owners? Where did all our Dolphins go. Oh yeah, the Patriots. Do you know when you go to the dolphin proshop many of the Dolphins shirts with numbers have our very famous player 00. Yep that's right. We don't have a single player we can count on to be our hero this year so we have to buy shirts, purses, etc with number 00 on it. How sad

Can someone, anyone, honestly tell me that Chad Pennington is going to help the Dolphins get in the playoffs this year?

Because if that is not the case, then adding him to win a game or two more is stupid. All that does is put is further back in the draft order which typically means we lessen our chances of getting better faster.

I have no idea what to think about this, we need to get someone who isn't coming off an injury, like the last 3 qb's we've had and let john beck be the starter and give him more then 4 games!!! Go FINS

The comparison to Culpepper and Green is a strong one, but I have a strong feeling that Pennington will work out better. Parcells has a history of finding players that are well suited for his philosophy. He also has a history of reusing players when he joins a new team, which is likely why he didn't go after starting caliber QBs on the market earlier int he offseason(none of them appealed to him and his system). Pennington's strong points are his accuracy, leadership and decision-making. This team could use a QB who can manage the offense because it will clearly be spearheaded by our two running backs. I will gladly take Pennington as our Drew Bledsoe until we find our Tony Romo.

Dear Real Phins Fans,

We need to finally thank our front office for doing something smart! This move is great, I mean he's no Brady but can pull of a Trent Dilfer and manage the game/season. The two most veteran QB's on our team only throw when they see triple coverage. This move will allow our running game to flow. I'm willing to bet our stone hand receivers will start catching the ball monday. If for nothing else, we owe our defense enough respect to get to practice againt a smart QB. This moves give us so so so many more options. The Tuna has a history of bringing in older QB's until the young talent "forces" himself into the line up. Just win baby!


Quit crying about the cap, McCown is making 6.5mil over two years. If he's cut he only costs the team's cap the signing bonus portion, 2.5mil
I hated this idea at first, but the more I like it. Also, unless Miami wants to showcase McCown for a trade, the Dolphins can play Beck and Henne for a half each tomorrow.


Agreed. This team will run at least 60% of the snaps this season. Something Cameron didn't do.

One thing not mentioned... Pennington sells the play action with the best of them, and play action will kill teams trying to stack the box against the run.

This offense just got that much better. Let Old Chad lead the way for Young Chad to learn from. I still can see Henne starting before the season is done given Penningtons injury history.

Now lets just hope we have a reciever that can create seperation. I think Hagan has a break out year in 2008.

u know what, I don't think we can get any worse so I think were in the zone

They aren't cutting any QB yet.

Watch tomorrow night - and see if Beck has developed any more poise than last year.

Practice is practice - a game situation with real, live, hitting defenders is something totally different.

I believe John Beck will be able to answer some questions for the Coaches and US once we see him under center in a game.

The coaches really don't know what they have going with their current number of QB's.

Also - the Fins are only repsonsible for the guaranteed money - the signing bonus included - if the player is cut before a season game, he's cut and not a salary cap calamity for his non-guaranteed money.

This really is in line with Parcells, as he is continuing to bring in his veteran guys to compensate for the learning curves of the young and future building blocks. I welcome Chad and remind people that he killed us often with play action. Beck will be shopped cause he comes from the last coach. Finally I say bring terry glenn in and give us a chance to be competitive now while building our future.

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