Former New York Jets QB Chad Pennington, speaking Wednesday to the South Florida media for the first time in nearly a month, revealed that he will have shoulder surgery Friday -- his fourth. Pennington said there's a 50-50 chance he will retire.
As all Jets fans know, Pennington underwent surgery in 2004 and 2005. He joined the Miami Dolphins in 2008 (dumped by the Jets when they traded for Brett Favre) and led them to a division title, but he blew out his throwing shoulder again in 2009. Disaster struck again this season, Nov. 14, when he was named to start for Chad Henne. Facing the Tennessee Titans, Pennington got hurt on his second pass.
Here are a few excerpts from Pennington's interview:
• On deciding to have surgery: "I feel like this is the best thing for me to do whether I play again or not just so I could guarantee myself a better quality of life."
• On his chances of attempting another comeback: "I would say I’m 50-50. (You know) last year I was probably 75-25. I’m 50-50 ... Will it be tougher? Absolutely. The third one was much tougher than the second one. So the fourth I could only imagine what the rehab of that would be like. So, we’ll have to wait and see."
• On his post-playing plans if he retires: “Yeah I’ve thought about everything. I’ve thought about from going back and getting the masters to coaching to broadcasting to (you know) doing a lot of foundation work with my foundation and everything else in between. So, I don’t know, I really don’t know."
• On the challenges of rehab: "I’ve conquered that three times so I know I can do that again, but at some point in time you have to evaluate, okay I’m a liability now and this thing can’t be trusted anymore and that’s what’s difficult.”
• On the notion of not having football in his life: "I’ve never had a job. I go home for Thanksgiving and my sister-in-law is renovating this building, and I go in there and they’re teaching me how to wire an electrical outlet. I’m like, 'I should have listened to my dad when he asked me if I wanted to help,' and I’d just hand him the screwdriver and then go back to shooting hoops or throwing a football or doing something other than helping him. This is all I’ve ever known really."