The New York Jets’ 2008 season took an interesting turn when their former franchise quarterback joined a loathed division rival.
Story of the 2008 New York Jets:
- Part 1 – The years of buildup to a 2008 offseason quarterback controversy
- Part 2 – The many obstacles on the road to acquiring Brett Favre
- Part 3 – The hype of Favre’s arrival and a goodbye to Chad Pennington
Chad Pennington’s release from the New York Jets on Aug. 7, 2008, was done as soon as the Favre trade became official. Mike Tannenbaum wanted to let Chad Pennington pick his next team, but the Jets’ general manager probably wasn’t expecting that team to be one of Gang Green’s chief rivals. But as luck would have it, the hated Miami Dolphins had what you might charitably call some uncertainty at the quarterback position heading into the 2008 season.
Following the end of 2007, the Dolphins had signed Josh McCown, a well-traveled journeyman that Jets fans would come to know well 10 years later, adding him to a depth chart that included only 2007 second-round pick John Beck – who had been horrific in four starts the previous season – and Chad Henne, a 2008 second-round pick out of Michigan who showed promise, but was not yet ready to be the starter.
So when Pennington became available, the Dolphins pounced. Not only would he be an upgrade over what they had, but he knew the division well, and the man who drafted him in New York – future Hall of Famer and Tannenbaum’s mentor Bill Parcells – was hired that offseason to run the Dolphins’ football operation. Both sides realized it was a match made in heaven, so the former Jets starter became the Dolphins’ new starter, signing a two-year, $11.5 million dollar contract with Miami on Aug. 8, 2008.
Thus, when Favre and the Jets marched into Miami for their 2008 season opener on September 7, they were going head-to-head with the man who had been projected to be their opening day starting quarterback a mere month earlier.