JETS Pennington sets deadline for a new deal Jets' QB, in final year of his contract, says negotiations will be put on hold if no agreement by the end of August Email this story Printer friendly format Top Stories Pennington sets deadline for a new deal Briefs George to Visit Cowboys As Free Agent Raiders NFL's Top-Selling Merchandizer Judge Rules in McNair's Favor in DUI Case BY KEN BERGER STAFF WRITER July 24, 2004 Chad Pennington and the Jets have agreed to continue negotiations on his contract extension through the end of August, but then will break off talks until after the 2004 season if no agreement is reached. "I have made it clear that once the month of August is over, negotiations will stop if nothing has been reached," Pennington said yesterday. Pennington's agent, Tom Condon, met in person with Jets officials before the April draft, Pennington said. Since then, he said, "there wasn't too much discussion." Pennington is entering the final year of the five- year contract he signed as a rookie in 2000. If the Jets don't sign him to an extension before the end of August, they will be in the same position next offseason that the Colts faced with quarterback Peyton Manning, who played last season on the final year of his deal. Rather than apply the franchise tag to Manning in the offseason, which would have given him a salary of $18 million for 2004, the Colts signed Manning to a seven- year deal worth $98 million, including a $34.5-million signing bonus. Pennington and Manning are represented by the same agent, Condon, who also represents Manning's brother, Giants quarterback Eli Manning. "I'm taking Peyton's approach as far as just totally shutting things down when the season starts and being able to concentrate on getting my team to the Super Bowl," Pennington said. It seems to make sense for both sides to proceed cautiously with Pennington's deal. With the Jets at a critical juncture in the Herman Edwards-Terry Bradway era, waiting until next offseason would give Pennington more assurances about the direction of the organization. From the Jets' standpoint, they are eager to see Pennington perform as the starting quarterback for a full 16-game schedule for the first time. Pennington also said he will no longer discuss his contract situation with reporters after Thursday, when the team reports for training camp. "Next Thursday will be the last time I discuss it," Pennington said. "That's what I told Tom: Once I start [training camp], there is no conversation between he and I. I have to trust him. I can only control what I do on the field and let the organization take care of the rest. I feel comfortable with where I am. I love being a Jet. I love being in New York. I look forward to the '04 season without any reservations about '05."