I am not an ESPN Insider, so I don't know what more there is to the story that I only saw a headline for this past weekend.
But the headline certainly caught my attention:
"Rumors: Pennington open to Fins, Jets return"
You better believe all I needed to get my mind running was that headline.
I'll take it from here, ESPN Insider Rumors.
The Dolphins re-signing Pennington makes total sense...as much sense as it would make for the Jets to re-sign him.
The Dolphins have a young quarterback (Chad Henne), who is their future. He needs veteran guidance. Pennington would provide that.
The Jets have a young quarterback (Mark Sanchez), who is their future. He needs veteran guidance. Pennington would provide that.
Pennington is, I assume, on good terms with Dolphins coach Tony Sparano.
The Jets are no longer coached by someone that Pennington might hold a grudge against for running him out of town. I can only assume he's got a decent relationship with current Jets management.
Chad Pennington might say that he still feels he could be a starter in this league. He might go into a training camp with a Miami or a New York fighting for the starting job, believing he has a shot. But if Chad Pennington is nothing else, he is a smart man. And he has to know his effectiveness as THE man, THE starting quarterback, are behind his surgically repaired self. So he probably recognizes that these two organizations, with whom he has relationships, are his best bets.
If anything, the Jets situation is a better fit for Pennington. Their backup quarterback (I use that term loosely), Kellen Clemens, will not be back next year. Pennington would provide Mark Sanchez with something he hasn't had yet - the veteran leadership of a quarterback who has been through it in New York. For Pennington, it also could lead to a career resurgence. Could be kind of a Kurt Warner with the Giants thing - serve some time as the backup to a younger guy, maybe get the opportunity to start again, then get your own starting gig. I have yet to see Pennington fail spectacularly at anything. I'm sure he would be fine in this role.
The Dolphins had Pennington around for a bit to tutor Henne, so it will become obvious, I would think, if they wanted him to continue in that role if they jump at him early.
If not, it would serve the Jets well to scoop up Pennington as their backup QB.