Chiefs interested in Chad Pennington?

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In the wake of a late-night deal that sent Brett Favre to the New York Jets for a conditional draft choice, Jets General Manager Mike Tannenbaum informed reporters that starting quarterback Chad Pennington would be released early Thursday morning. Will he end up in Kansas City?

Favre was dealt from the Packers to the Jets for a conditional draft pick that could land Green Bay anywhere from a 4th to 1st round draft pick, depending on Favre's ability to lead his new team to the Super Bowl.

The trade wasn't a surprise, because the Jets have been one of the most active NFL teams this offseason. Tannenbaum was hoping to land Favre when it became clear he wanted to play football again, but still had respect for Pennington.

"He gave his heart and soul to this organization for a long, long time," said Tannenbaum of Pennington. " I really appreciate everything he has done."

Acquiring Favre puts the Jets in a position where they no longer need Pennington, however. New York is committed to Kellen Clemens, who will be Favre's backup.

The Jets have to cut Pennington before they officially add Favre to the roster, because they have to clear nearly $12 million in cap space to complete the trade.

It's logical that Chiefs Head Coach Herm Edwards would have an interest in Pennington because of their close relationship when Edwards was in New York.

Will it happen? According to our league source, Pennington is a vested veteran, so he does not have to go through the normal waiver process. He can choose to sign with any team.

Per that same source, Pennington has the Chiefs at the top of the list of teams that he'd like to play for in 2008.

The good news for the Chiefs is that they have the cap room to absorb both Pennington's contract and veteran Damon Huard's contract.

The Chiefs, who are preparing for their preseason opener against the Chicago Bears tonight, had planed to play Huard in the second half. But those plans could change if the Pennington rumor heats up throughout the day.

Stay tuned to Warpaint Illustrated.com for more breaking news on Chad Pennington and the Chiefs. Look for our review of the Chiefs-Bears game Friday morning.

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