I made a blanket statement yesterday on Twitter that I wasn’t going to continue to help perpetuate these rampant Peyton Manning rumors and I remain firmly committed to that. The off-season is still young and I’m already getting tired of recycling and retweeting the same story that’s based on little more than speculation and opinion, loosely inspired by the twisting of words plucked from a press conference mostly taken out of context. I understand that today’s media is built upon rumors and whispers, but I simply can’t spend every waking moment of every day writing about something that for all intents and purposes, is nothing more than an idea.
As one very smart person replied: “But then how will we know what the Jets might potentially intend to do or not do sometime in a future that may/may not exist?”
My point exactly.
In the same 5 minute time span I saw two beat reporters tweet articles speculating Manning will land in New York this off-season. The columns seemed to be motivating by reports detailing Manning’s unhappiness with the current environment in Indy, the turnover with the front office and the chatter surrounding top QB prospect Andrew Luck.
Many believe his statements indicate he knows the writing is on the wall and that his time in Indy has come to an end. In fact, Manning went so far as to say, “..[..]…hard to see, all these people leaving. And I may be behind them. Who knows?’’
Several sources have informed me (very informally) that both Woody Johnson and Rex Ryan have expressed interest in acquiring Peyton Manning should he become available and deemed healthy, giving more credence to all of the chatter that has linked him to the team. With that, I cannot completely fault those who have taken small leads and run with them, but I can continue to maintain that we still know mostly nothing about the situation.
What do I mean? Well, let’s be mindful of the fact that hypothetical, possible, or even expected interest does not mean much in late January. It is yet to be determined if Peyton is even healthy enough to play in 2012 (or ever again), and even if he is supposedly healthy enough, the risk for further injury is a legitimate one.
Of course, the Colts – and only the Colts – have to make a decision (a $28 million dollar one, in fact) about Manning prior to him being a realistic possibility for any team.
Until both of these situations play out, no team can make a bid for Manning. Period.
Additionally, there are reports speculating about interest in Manning from other teams, including the Dolphins, Redskins and Cardinals. The Jets would have to compete with these teams for Manning in the open market, and there is no telling what Manning would garner with up to 4 teams in a bidding war. Woody, Tanny and Rex can want Manning till they are
blue green in the face; they may not be able to afford him.
Lastly, there is the small matter of the Jets supposed “franchise quarterback” Mark Sanchez. We could get into a lengthy discussion about Sanchez and his future, but I think we can all agree that Manning would be an upgrade at the position, even if it was in the short term.
All that said, can the Jets afford both quarterbacks? Can they make this work? Should they? What about building for the future, instead of building for now? Does Peyton even want to play in New York (because you know he is getting a say in the matter)? There are all valid point to consider and they will be dissected by people in a far better mood to do so than me.
Until I get a concrete indication about what is going to happen with Manning, I will continue to ask all of these questions and shy away from playing into the media frenzy. I think there is a lot more here than meets the eye and simply going out and getting Peyton Manning will not fix all of the Jets problems, though it is a nice pretty band aid.
New Offensive Line Coach Named
The Jets announced yesterday that they have hired Dave DeGuglielmo as the new offensive line coach. DeGuglielmo was formerly the offensive line coach for the Miami Dolphins and will be reunited with his buddy Tony Sparano.
While in Miami, DeGuglielmo’s offensive line allowed Reggie Bush to rush for his first career 1,000 yard season.
Prior to his three years with the Dolphins, DeGuglielmo was the line coach for the New York Giants. Under his coaching in 2008, the Giants lead the league in rushing and boasted several Pro Bowl lineman.
Side note : Per the Star-Ledger, “Jets assistant strength and conditioning coach Bryan Dermody has also left the staff voluntarily.”
Best Pass Rusher on the Market Available
The Houston Chronicle is reporting that the Texans cannot use the franchise tag on DE/OLB Mario Williams. Per Peter King, the Texans and are said to be “seriously considering” allowing him to walk as a free agent this summer.
Williams would be exactly what the Jets need, though they would have to seriously consider if they want to address the need in free agency (and pay for it) or look to grab someone in this the forthcoming draft.
Senior Bowl Practice Kicks Off
Rex and Tanny at the Senior Bowl. Photo from Jetstwit.com
Practice for the Senior Bowl is already underway, and the Jets have already been linked to a number of names.
Here are a few players that have been linked to the Jets over the past few days : PSU DE Jack Crawford, Michigan DT Mike Martin, Troy OT James Brown, Baylor RB Terrance Ganaway, Missouri TE Michael Egnew, Boise State RB Doug Martin,
Cincinnati RB Isaiah Pead, Ohio State WR DeVier Posey, Arkansas WR Joe Adams, Nebraska LB Lavonte David and Iowa WR Marvin Mcnutt. The Jets have also been linked to LSU S Brandon Taylor though I have yet to determine to what extent.
In the past few weeks, I have shared several mock drafts that have the Jets take OLB Courtney Upshaw and S Mark Barron with their number 16 pick. Upshaw has performed extremely well thus far in practice and sadly, his draft stock is rising by the moment. It is highly possible he will not be available at #16, which likely explains why more and more analysts, including Mel Kiper of ESPN, have the Jets drafting Barron.
Another recent mock draft has the Jets taking DE/OLB Nick Perry from USC.
While it’s nearly impossible to predict what the Jets will do in the draft at the present moment, noting the players they speak with gives us an idea about the positions they might be targeting (RB, S, WR, DE, DT, TE, LB), in addition to the individual players.