August 07, 2008
With the New York Jets acquiring quarterback Brett Favre in a trade late last night, how does this move affect the New England Patriots? From this perspective, assuming Favre is in the right mindset after not landing in his preferred destination (Tampa Bay), the Jets just got better. And thus, so did the AFC East division.
The Patriots face the Jets on Sept. 14 — Week 2 of the NFL season — in what will be Favre's home debut. The teams meet again later in the season, on Nov. 13, at Gillette Stadium. As for why the Jets are better with Favre, the feeling here is that to win in the NFL, there is no more important position to have squared away than quarterback. The Jets, in a bold move, just upgraded the position in the short-term.
Kellen Clemens, a 2006 second-round pick who obviously hasn't developed as quickly as desired, has been uninspiring. Heady veteran Chad Pennington is solid, but durability and health concerns make it understandable why some teams would be a bit uneasy relying on him in a No. 1 role.
From a Patriots perspective, the Favre acquisition also opens the possibility of signing Pennington once he is released. If the Patriots are looking for a veteran backup — they currently have Matt Cassel (4th year), Matt Gutierrez (2nd year), and rookie Kevin O'Connell (third-round pick) — Pennington is an enticing option (assuming Pennington is interested in such a situation).
In late June, at Randy Moss' charity golf tournament in West Virginia, Pennington was asked his thoughts on the Patriots. Pennington was in attendance because he remains close with Moss, as they were teammates at Marshall University.
"They've been the standard in our league for quite some time now, seven years. They've done a great job," Pennington said of the Patriots at the time. "I think where the Patriots need to be commended is being able to maintain a level of excellence for such a long period of time, because this league with free agency, and so many changes each year, it's hard to keep a core group of guys together. They've been able to do that."
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