Pennington inks with Jets; wins GTE honor

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 15, 2000

AP and staff reports


Saturday, July 15, 2000

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Pennington inks with Jets; wins GTE honor

Ap and Staff Reports

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – Chad Pennington, the first quarterback chosen in the NFL draft, has agreed to a five-year contract with the New York Jets.

Pennington, the 18th overall selection and the third of New York’s unprecedented four first-round picks, will get a $4.1 million signing bonus and a contract loaded with incentives. If he meets all of those incentives, he could earn as much as $23 million.

The base contract is worth nearly $6.5 million. But in addition to the signing bonus, other bonuses within the contract are predicated on playing time, and Pennington’s success could earn him another $16 million over the life of the deal.

”Chad’s a winner. He won two championships in his league (at Marshall) and then two years in a row in bowl games in which they played against supposedly the strongest competition,” coach Al Groh said. ”I know his college coach very well. I know how Chad operates on a day-to-day and hour-to-hour basis.

”Then secondly to that, he reminds me in a lot of ways of Phil Simms, and in my point of reference, he’s a pretty good guy to be reminded of.”

With Pennington’s signing, the Jets will have no holdouts. Earlier this week, they signed defensive end Shaun Ellis and linebacker John Abraham, the 12th and 13th overall selections.

Ellis, of Tennessee, received a $2.175 million signing bonus and a deal worth $8.175 million over five years. The third and fourth seasons are guaranteed.

Abraham, from South Carolina, also got a five-year deal with the third and fourth seasons guaranteed. He received a $2 million signing bonus and a total package worth $7.55 million

During the spring, the Jets signed their other first-rounder, tight end Anthony Becht of West Virginia.

Pennington is expected to be the third-string quarterback behind Vinny Testaverde and Ray Lucas. But he is considered the Jets’ quarterback of the future.

Pennington named to GTE

Pennington and Illinois Weslyan basketball player Korey Coon have been chosen the Team Members of the Year for the 1999-2000 GTE Academic All-America Teams.

The voting is conducted among a committee of the College Sports Information Directors of America. Pennington is the recipient in Division I and Coon from Divisions II and III.

Pennington graduated from Marshall with a 3.80 grade point average as a broadcast journalism major.

Previous winners includeTommy Vardell, Peton Manning and Rebecca Lobo.