Peyton Manning to the Jets rumors are sure to heat up after New York Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum admitted that the quarterback position could look different next year for Gang Green.
We don't need to bring in another guy to make Mark Sanchez great. Mark Sanchez wants to be great because that's who he is, Tannenbaum said on ESPN Radio. With that said, we're looking at that position very carefully and I wouldn't be surprised if at the end of the day, by September, that position group as a whole looks a little bit different than it did at the end of the 2011 season.
Tannenbaum went on to say that It's really important that we always try to improve the team, on whether the Jets would kick the tires on Manning.
Manning is still with the Indianapolis Colts, but the Colts are expected to release the former two-time NFL MVP rather than pay him a $28 million roster bonus on March 8th. Manning has expressed interest in staying with Indianapolis, but many believe the Colts will draft Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the No. 1 pick in April's NFL Draft and allow Manning to sign elsewhere.
The long-time face of the Indianapolis franchise missed the entire 2011-12 season due to neck surgeries, but would likely generate a lot of interest if he gets a clean bill of health. If he is released in March, as expected, the Jets would be one of a handful of teams expected to be very interested in him.
Sports Illustrated's Peter King reported on Tuesday that the main suitors for Manning are: Miami Dolphins; New York Jets; Seattle Seahawks; Washington Redskins; Arizona Cardinals; and Kansas City Chiefs.
The Dolphins and Redskins both have a huge need for a starting quarterback, while the Jets have made a big investment in third-year quarterback Mark Sanchez. Sanchez guided the Jets to consecutive AFC Championship appearances in 2009 and 2010, but struggled in 2011 and led the Jets to a disappointing 8-8 record.
In the off-season anonymous Jets players told the New York Daily News that bringing in Manning would be good for the Jets. While hyping up Manning as a quarterback that the Jets could win a Super Bowl with; other Jets disparaged Sanchez for his poor play.
We have to bring in another quarterback that will make him work at practice, one player told the Daily News. He's lazy and content because he knows he's not going to be benched.
Pursuing Manning could signal the end of the Sanchez era in New York or at the very least seriously damage Sanchez's already-shaky confidence level. Tannenbaum seemed to acknowledge that bringing in Manning could have some unwanted consequences.
My philosophy is you've got to be aggressive, you have to know what's going on out there, and you have to look for opportunities, he said. Sometimes there will be consequences, some are intended, some are unintended, and with that, you kind of factor that into the equation, and then you go from there.