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G.J. Kinne comes to Jets with incredible backstory

It's too early to say if G.J. Kinne will have an impactful career with the New York Jets, but the former Tulsa quarterback comes to Florham Park with a serious backstory.

G.J. Kinne, who played at Tulsa, signed an undrafted free-agent deal with the Jets over the weekend.
G.J. Kinne, who played at Tulsa, signed an undrafted free-agent deal with the Jets over the weekend. (Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press)

As a Texas high school star, Kinne was coached by his father, former Baylor linebacker Gary Joseph Kinne. On April 7, 2005, Gary Joseph was shot in the chest by the deranged parent of one of the players in the school's football program.

G.J. was told by a police officer that day his father was dead, only to find out later that Gary Joseph indeed had survived his injuries despite being given a 10 percent chance to live.

Gary Joseph returned to the sideline later that year, and G.J. later went to Texas, then transferred to Tulsa, before being signed by the Jets less than an hour after the draft ended.

Ironically, a former Jets quarterback helped Kinne land with Gang Green. Chad Pennington, unceremoniously dumped by the Jets after they acquired Brett Favre in 2008, worked with Kinne and recommended he sign with New York if he wasn't drafted.

"We really hit it off," Kinne told ESPN.com's Rich Cimini on Monday. "We talked through the whole draft. He told me, 'If the Jets really want you, I'd jump on it.' "

Kinne credits Pennington with preparing him for his opportunity in the NFL.

"He was one of the quarterbacks I always looked up to," Kinne said. "When we were together, he got me on the white board and drilled me. On the field, he really helped me with my mechanics."

Kinne's an easy guy to root for, and it appears he'll fight with Greg McElroy for the Jets' No. 3 QB job.

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