On the Jets, Abraham will be traded (or signed long-term - there's now way they keep him at $8.3 million. Signed for the long term, his cap # could go down from over $6 million to about $4 million). Ty Law and his $11 million cap charge are headed out of town. Fabini will be cut I think. Mawae, Curtis Martin, and Chad Pennington will likely renegotiate. Keep in mind that both Pennington and Martin are Parcells picks, and have a strong connection to the current regime - Tannenbaum worked out the famous C-Mart poison pill offer, and also fit Penny and the other three first-rounders into the cap in the 2000 draft.
Jets eye $8M cut for ChadBY RICH CIMINI
DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER
Chad Pennington might decide 89% pay cut is too painful.
The anticipated staredown between the Jets and Chad Pennington is on.
Faced with the task of slashing about $26 million from the salary cap over the next two weeks, the Jets have approached Pennington about taking a significant pay cut, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed yesterday.
The action came as no surprise, considering the bloated cap situation and the uncertainty of Pennington's twice-surgically repaired throwing shoulder, but the amount of the proposed cut is eye-opening.
Pennington is due to make $9 million in salary and bonuses for 2006, and the Jets want to slash that to a $1 million base salary, according to the person. He would be able to recoup the difference by achieving various incentives.
The clock is ticking. If the two sides don't reach an agreement by March 3 - the start of the league year, when Pennington is due a $3 million roster bonus - the Jets could release the 29-year-old quarterback.
It comes down to an old-fashioned game of poker. The Jets probably don't want to cut Pennington because they'd get stuck with an enormous bill ($12 million in "dead" money on their 2006 cap), but they also don't want to pay franchise money for a quarterback who might not be healthy enough to start.
At the same time, Pennington probably doesn't want to start over - realistically, how much would he command on the open market? - but he also has a tremendous amount of pride and might not be willing to swallow such a massive cut.
The Jets didn't comment on the situation.
In 2004, Pennington, cashing in on his breakout 2002 season, signed an eight-year, $64 million contract.
No player preaches teamwork more than Pennington - he offered $2 million of his own salary last year to sign Laveranues Coles but his agent, Tom Condon, is known as a tough negotiator. People close to Condon said they would be shocked if he agreed to a $1 million base salary.
Because of injuries, Pennington has started only 16 games over the last two seasons. When it was suggested in October after his second surgery that he should feel indebted to the club, which has paid him $22 million for 2004 and 2005, Pennington replied, "I've paid a price for this organization. I put it on the line - hurt, not hurt, you name it."
He sounded more flexible at the end of the season, saying, "We've always done a good job on both sides, working things out and getting things straight. I've put my basic trust in them, and they'll get things taken care of."
Even if Pennington stays, the Jets almost certainly will acquire a veteran to compete with him. The new regime, headed by GM Mike Tannenbaum and coach Eric Mangini, also might draft or otherwise aquire their quarterback of the future.
The top free agent is the Chargers' Drew Brees, who also is recovering from shoulder surgery. The Jets' new offensive coordinator, Brian Schottenheimer, tutored Brees as the San Diego quarterbacks coach. If the Chargers don't put the franchise tag on Brees, he'd be a natural fit with Schottenheimer, although his shoulder would have to be a concern.
Originally published on February 14, 2006