"We can win a Super Bowl with Peyton."
"If you have a chance to get a healthy 36-year-old Peyton Manning and you don’t do it, then you’re stupid. If I could get a healthy 36-year-old Peyton Manning, then, hell yeah, I would trade Sanchez."
According to Manish Mehta's report in the New York Daily News, these words aren't from some random fan or cooky caller from a weekly Jets radio show.
These are strong words from within the organization.
More importantly, they are apparently straight from the mouth of "unnamed Jets players" and sources. While not all of Mehta's sources were critical of Sanchez, where does the passion to see #18 dawning the green and white come from?
Mark Sanchez and the lack of confidence surrounding him. Even with two AFC Championship appearances under his belt, Sanchez is continually feeling the heat of his costly in-game mistakes, along with the fact that he is apparently "lazy and content because he knows he's not going to be benched."
With the opportunity to go after Manning, should he be released, one of Sanchez's "well-respected" teammates pointed to the fact that Tom Moore -- one of Peyton's long-time offensive confidants -- could serve as a realistic talking point in negotiations:
"We already have his coach — Tom Moore. Plus, he’s a field general and will get everyone lined up. He will get his playmakers the ball."
The Moore-to-Manning connection certainly isn't farfetched. Manning was reportedly upset after Moore had been driven out of the Colts organization and rightfully so. The offensive relationship between the two had boomed as one of the most explosive systems in the league, for over a decade. If there were to be a front-runner in the very unlikely "Manning sweepstakes", it would seemingly be the Jets -- thanks to this relationship.
We also know that Rex Ryan loves Peyton Manning. With a Ryan-led defense and Manning-led offense, the things these two could do would be regarded as endless. And, as BBS cleverly mentioned in one of his latest articles, winning a second Super Bowl after switching teams isn't exactly easy. If Manning were to hook up with the Jets, all of the positive prospects of this team, and deliver another Super Bowl, he really would only further cement his calling as the greatest of all time.
Forget, Joe Namath. The people of New York would crown Manning as a God.
But even with the opportunity to rekindle that fire from the Colts glory years and more, would it be enough to convince Manning to sign with the Jets and all of the organizational hazards?
Not according to one of Mehta's sources.
"I don’t think that he’ll come here," a member of the Jets organization said. "We have to change the perception of our organization. We’re not the organization that players said they wanted to play for a year or two ago. We’re starting to come across a little flaky. We talk the talk. We don’t back it up. We’re out of control. There’s no discipline. It’s a mess right now."
Manning is undoubtedly one of professional sport's classiest athletes. That said, would pushing out a guy dubbed "San-chise", who also has the supposed undying confidence from his head coach, really be the most ideal situation for a Manning free agency transition?
Sure, the NFL is a business. But the NFL is also a media machine. However you chalk it up, it could lead to some very good or very bad press for Manning, considering all of the drama and dysfunctional circumstances. Is that a risk he's willing to take?
And then there's also the fact that Peyton's brother basically plays across the street. With all of the "New York v. New York" and "This is our house!" brouhaha that has taken over the city, this could ultimately serve as another perpetual drama that Peyton just wouldn't be willing to take on.
Oh, and then there's this: Peyton Manning is STILL A FRIGGIN' COLT!
Even with the hiring of Ryan Grigson as the Colts new general manager, the decision on Manning's future is simple and totally up to Irsay, according to the man himself.
Come March 8th, If Manning is healthy, he stays. If Manning is hurt, he likely retires as the greatest quarterback to ever play the game.
So, I wouldn't realistically entertain anyone's delusions of grandeur that involve Manning kicking our butts with weapons like Santonio "Locker Room Cancer" Holmes and Dustin Keller, while engulfed in green, just yet.
Plus, could you really live with seeing "Fireman Ed" doing the "J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS!" chant before Manning takes the field?
Kill. Me. Now.