It’s a long shot and only speculation, but like any long shot that comes in a winner, if it happens, remember, you heard it here first.
If, and this is a big if, the Titans and Kerry Collins cannot come to some sort of agreement this off-season regarding his status, then the next place Tennessee might turn to for a backup quarterback could be Chad Pennington.
Collins, of course, is under contract for 2010 on the final year of the two-year, $15 million deal he signed last off-season. But he signed that deal when he was Tennessee’s starting quarterback. Now that Vince Young is back as the No. 1 quarterback, even Collins has wondered aloud whether the Titans would be willing to pay him the $5.5 to $6 million he is owed, if he’s not the starter.
The gut feeling here is that the Titans will probably approach Collins sometime fairly early in the off-season about potentially working out some arrangement for him to stay on. After all, not only is a quality veteran backup hard to find, but Collins also found Nashville to his liking, not only as a Titan, but also with his budding country music songwriting career.
However, if that goes awry, don’t be surprised if the Titans at least take a look-see at Pennington, who is coming off the third shoulder injury of his career. On Monday, Miami Dolphins executive Bill Parcells, in a chat on NFL.com, was asked about Pennington and said he believed the veteran quarterback still wants to play football rather than go into coaching.
“I think Chad’s intention is to try to continue playing, so I don’t think coaching is on the forefront for him right now,” Parcells said in the chat.
Pennington is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next month.
Pennington is a native of Knoxville, and more important than that, has a good relationship with offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger from when the two worked together with the New York Jets in 2005.
Also, former Titan Justin McCareins, who also spent time with Pennington, called him hands down, “the smartest player he had been ever associated with.”
With that, if he is healthy, Pennington might be worth a fallback option as a backup for the Titans, if Tennessee and Collins wind up parting ways.