But the way so many journalists are portraying it, it is fait accompli.
They might be getting way ahead of themselves.
Remember, none of these stories have even quoted Jets sources anonymously. None of them.
This is pure guesswork; people making assumptions.
True, it's definitely a good guess, considering Pennington was essentially benched for the second half of the season.
And Pennington has been very evasive about his answers about whether he wants to stay with the Jets.
But why does a benching mean a player is going to be traded? Does every benched player get traded? Especially in this case since the benching was probably unjustified.
As for Pennington roundabout answers, they really don't matter. He has not control over his future since he's under contract. So his words mean very little.
The concept that the Jets are going to dump Pennington and move on to Kellen Clemens in 2008 is assuming way too much.
Now if Clemens had taken over after the second Buffalo game and played excellent, or even solid football, this decision would be a no-brainer.
Clemens was one of the first picks of the Tangini Administration. In fact, they traded up to pick him in the second round last year. It's clear, the Jets brass likes the fact that he has a stronger arm than Pennington, which is important playing in the windy Meadowlands.
But Clemens has been very inconsistent, and displayed shaky pocket presence. In seven starts, he has a 59.0 QB rating, and has thrown just four touchdowns to 10 interceptions.
To assume the Jets are going to just hand the keys to him for next season is crazy.
Now there is no question he has the potential to get a lot better. Aside from his great arm, he's a good runner and a very hard worker. He has excellent raw tools.
But based on what he displayed thus far, Tangini would be risking their jobs to anoint him the team's 2008 starter.
That is why Clemens start against Kansas City is very meaningful, even if Eric Mangini is downplaying the significance.
If Clemens plays really well against a good Chiefs defense, even though it's just one game, this might make the decision for the Jets brass a little easier.
But based on his body of work thus far, for people to assume Pennington (three playoff appearances in his first five years as a starter) is a goner, if illogical.
Mangini and Mike Tannenbaum are young, but they weren't born yesterday.
You don't discard a capable starter like Pennington unless you know you have a rock solid replacement.
And right now, they don't know if they have a rock solid replacement.
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