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Remember when...the Miami Dolphins signed Chad Pennington?

Remember When: A look back at Miami Dolphins history through the eyes of The Phinsider

I can't think of one single move made by the Miami Dolphins over the past couple of decades that resulted in the kind of 180 that the Chad Pennington acquisition generated back in 2008. Never was a signing as fascinating as this one in terms of getting inside the heads of one team's fan base.

We're talking about a guy in Pennington that was disliked by pretty much every Dolphins fan, having spent his first eight seasons as a member of the Jets and winning seven of his nine career starts against Miami - completing 62% of his passes and putting up an 11:2 touchdown to interception ratio. Many Dolphins fans, including myself, would even mock his weak arm and pick on Chad's tendency to get injured.

That's why it was no surprise that 55% of Dolphins fans who voted in our initial poll were against the idea of Pennington coming down to Miami after the Jets released him. I wasn't necessarily "for" or "against" the idea of bringing Pennington in. But I was definitely leaning more towards being against the possible move.

However, once the Dolphins did sign Pennington, 51% of those who voted were suddenly in favor of the move while 10% didn't care one way or the other. My initial reaction, though, centered on the $11.5 million that Pennington was signed for. "My personal opinion is that this was way too much money to give Pennington," I wrote that day.

The next day, I wondered aloud if this new regime that took over in 2008 was a "walking contradiction" - mainly influenced by the article that Armando Salguero wrote pointing out how Bill Parcells and company chose to pass over other veteran players because of their age while handing Pennington starter's money despite his age.

"This year was supposed to be about building for the future," I wrote. "So how will it help this team in the future if Chad Pennington starts in week one? I don't know. I just don't really get it, that's all."

The Pennington signing sparked some very good debate within our community as well. Some of the comments from members of our community include:

"Enough scrubs!!! I’m sick of the Feelys, Frerottes, Culpeppers, and Greens!!!! Keep what we have and work with them. It’s not like it’s Favre we’re talking about! It’s the Jets cast-off, Pennington!"
"On one hand, I’d really like a veteran QB with some good ability to help the Fins win some games this year. But on the hand, he’d probably be just another one of those QB’s who’d come in and win some games - however he’d never get us to the next step: the playoffs."
"Good move. Makes sense. Pennington is only 32. Do you feel like going to war right now with our current roster with the inexperience of John Beck & Chad Henne leading our way out of this mess?"
"Good move. I don’t see this in any way as a departure from the team’s original plan. The plan was to get young guys, including a QB, and find a vet QB to caddy the offense until the young guy is ready to emerge."
"We always seem to be picking up Parcells' old scraps. Don’t see how Pennington is an upgrade. Unless of course, he wants revenge on his old team twice a year."
"I can not and will not EVER root for Chad Pennington. He will always be the enemy in my opinion."

What's funny is that even now, some Dolphins fans will criticize the move - saying that signing and starting Pennington wasn't good for the franchise over the long-term. There might actually be some truth behind that theory, too. I really don't know.

What I do know is that the improbable 2008 season that resulted in an AFC East Championship remains perhaps the single most entertaining Dolphins season of my lifetime. And without Chad Pennington, that amazingly enjoyable and refreshing season never happens. For that reason alone, the signing of CP10 was indeed a success.