NEW YORK (AP) -Ever optimistic and always classy, Chad Pennington is ready to move on.
Released by the New York Jets after they acquired Brett Favre from Green Bay late Wednesday night, Pennington was disappointed but had no hard feelings for the team with which he spent the first eight years of his career.
``I have enjoyed it,'' Pennington said Friday in his first public comments since his release. ``I've learned a lot, become a better professional and a better man because of my experience and my time in New York. I don't regret or feel ashamed about anything that happened to me in my time in New York.''
A first-round pick in 2000, Pennington became the popular face of the franchise for several seasons and arrived in camp competing with Kellen Clemens for the starting job. The Jets jettisoned Pennington to clear salary cap space once they got Favre from Green Bay for a conditional draft pick.
``The most difficult part is just the realization that the organization no longer wants you,'' Pennington said. ``You spend eight years there and, in the blink of an eye, you're no longer wanted there.''
The 32-year-old quarterback reportedly has several teams interested in him, including Miami, Minnesota, Kansas City and the Giants.
``I'm extremely encouraged about it,'' he said. ``It makes me feel good. I know I'm a good quarterback and I can play this game and can start and help a team win.''
He stopped short of confirming that specific teams are interested, including Miami. Bill Parcells, now the Dolphins' vice president of football operations, drafted Pennington with the 18th overall pick in 2000 when he was the Jets' general manager.
``I certainly don't want to compromise my position and the things that are going on,'' Pennington said. ``I'm glad to have a few teams interested and I'm excited about that.''
Pennington ranks first in NFL history among quarterbacks with at least 1,500 attempts with a 65.6 completion percentage. He was often recognized as being a leader in the huddle and an intelligent field general, but was dogged throughout his time in New York for his lack of arm strength.
rowing for a career-high 3,352 yards while again leading the Jets to the playoffs and starting every game for the first time.
He struggled last season, going 1-7 as the starter and was benched after Week 8 in favor of Clemens. Pennington had done a bit better than Clemens early in training camp, and was considered the favorite to open the season as the starter at Miami.
Then, came the news that Favre was coming to town. Pennington found out from coach Eric Mangini around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, shortly before the team announced the deal.
``With all the speculation, I always knew that this could be a possibility,'' he said. ``Emotionally, I don't think I was totally prepared, but at least mentally I was prepared and I knew I could handle the situation no matter what it would be.''
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