Elster's World

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Will This Jet Fly?

The Daily News is reporting that the salary-cap strapped New York Jets are attempting to re-negotiate quarterback Chad Pennington's $9 million salary contract this year (which includes a March roster bonus of $3 million) to a base salary of $1 million with certain incentives which would bring that number up. Whenther an injured Pennington could reach the incentives is a discussion for another time.

Clearly, the Jets need to dump money to get under the salary cap and position themselves to sign free agents and their own draft picks. Ty Law is almost certainly a goner and I'm sure no one will be too surprised to see guys like Jason Fabini or even Curtis Martin cut if the cap math is right.

Pennington's case, though, is slightly different (though as I write this I admit that I don't really know the cap ramifications of the above mentioned moves). He actually has at least some leverage. If the Jets were to cut him, Pennington will count almost 10 million dollar against this coming year's cap. Thats a lot of dead money. And while a cut player doesn't get paid, Pennington already got his huge signing bonus so it is not like he needs the dough to feed his familiy. So he could play poker with an Ace high and see what happenes. At this point, he's playing with the house's money anyway.

Thing is, though, Pennington always has struck me as a team guy. I think he will do the right thing here and take the pay cut. After all, he has had two major surgeries on his throwing shoulder. Can he honestly expect the Jets to rely on him next season? Does he really think that the Jets aren't going to address the long-term quarterback situation as though he is not going to make it back? At best he's competing for a job in training camp. Whether that's the starting job or not, I think we all have serious doubts. And on top of that, a million bucks aint exactly peanuts. He has to know that no team in the league would touch his broken wing with a thirty-foot pole right now.

While others disagree, I think the Jets are a mess right now. I support and trust the Mangini/Tannenbaum brain trust and I think that they will be able to pull the Jets out of the cellar in relatively short order. But they will have some very difficult choices coming up. Among those will be who is actually going to scout the talent? Tannenbaum's specialty is numbers and Mangini is unproven at best. I am not familiar with the Jets scouting department but it's been well documented that not many of their picks have made the pro-bowl recently.

So this continues to be a very interesting developing story.


  • Actually, Chad has a $9 million salary and a $3 million roster bonus if he isn't cut, for a total of $12 million. If he is on the team, he will have a cap number of $15 million, which includes the prorated portion of his $18 million signing bonus.

    If Chad is cut, the cap hit will be $12 million.

    Chad should restructure, but there is no way he will settle for only $1 million in guaranteed money. That would be crazy. Team guy or not, there is no reason why he would agree to make even less money than many backup quarterbacks.

    You write that the Jets "are a mess", then that Mangini and Tannenbaum will be able to change everything "in relatively short order", but then that Mangini and Tannebaum are unexperienced and the scouting department sucks. Don't you see how you regularly contradict yourself?

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 5:03 PM  

  • Incorrect. Alllow me to explain myself to avoid confusion:

    As constructed, the Jets are a mess (I have listed their many problems, especially on the offensive side of the ball, enough times that I do not feel it is necessary to do so again).

    That being said, much like you, Joe, I have confidence that the Jets CAN turn it around in short order. By short order, I mean the next 2 season (as opposed to 5 or 6 years of hell). Sorry for the confusion.

    Yes, I do trust that the new management will do a good job. However, my trust and faith doesn't change the fact that they need to bring in a good talent scout guy. That IS still a question mark. My faith and 2 bucks will get you on the subway and that's about it.

    Further, I didn't say the scouting department sucks; only that it, too, is a question mark. Ultimately Bradway made the picks so perhaps he failed to listen to their sage advice.

    I see no contradiction in my statements at all.

    Of course, unlike most fine lawyers, I tend to write these posts quickly and without thinking every word through which might explain why you thought my comments were contradictory. In the future I will be more careful lest I anger my readership.

    Thanks for clearing up the cap numbers on Pennington's contract.

    Note that he is probably not going to take a million, but the Jets had to start somewhere in negotiations. A 12 million dollar cap hit would be a disaster.

    By Blogger Elster, at 5:43 PM  

  • It could always be worse. You could be a Saints fan.

    By Blogger Jack's Shack, at 9:40 AM  

  • Tis true. Though for a while back there, Jets fans and Saints fans were in competition for who had the worse team. Paper bags were commonplace at both stadiums.

    By Blogger Elster, at 10:21 AM  

  • The Saints beat the Jets but still got a higher draft pick. So being a Jets fan would appear to be worse.

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 10:54 AM  

  • at least you guys don't have a crap team and have the superbowl rubbed in your face oin your own town when your hometown team shoots itself in the foot repeatedly to almost guarentee it won't make it there.

    By Blogger The Real Neo, at 10:03 PM  

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