http://www.newsday.com/sports/football/jet...ports-headlinesTwo people with knowledge of the Jets' strategy said the team is open to exploring trade possibilities for Mawae, who is coming off triceps surgery and is due to count $4.5 million on the cap.
Several people familiar with the Jets' thinking said the team has pulled back on its earlier pursuit of a veteran quarterback who would require a multiyear commitment and instead is focusing on drafting a quarterback in the first round. The belief in league circles is that Mangini and general manager Mike Tannenbaum are targeting Vanderbilt's Jay Cutler with the fourth overall pick.
Such a move would coincide with signing a second-tier veteran -- Aaron Brooks, Jon Kitna, Brian Griese and Sage Rosenfels are possibilities -- and almost certainly would spell the end of Pennington's career as a Jet. It's one of numerous scenarios the team is contemplating.
"The only reason you don't cut Pennington is because you can't afford to," one of the people familiar with the Jets' plan said. "If you're going to draft Cutler, the Chad Pennington era is over."
Releasing Pennington before March 3 would cost $12 million on the salary cap but would save owner Woody Johnson the $3-million roster bonus Pennington is due to receive that day. The two sides are trying to find a middle ground and will meet later this week at the Indianapolis scouting combine.
They're trying to keep all their options open, having engaged in discussions about acquiring Redskins quarterback Patrick Ramsey, for example.