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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