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Jets owner Woody Johnson says the team ‘passed on’ Peyton Manning

In all likelihood, we will never know what went on behind the scenes during the Peyton Manning free agent sweepstakes. When Manning finally decides on a destination for 2012, we will have nothing but speculation as to what other teams were in the mix for his services. However, Jets owner Woody Johnson would like everyone to believe it was the Jets choice to not bring in Manning — not the other way around.

“We passed on him,” Johnson said during an appearance on the FOX Business Network, according to the NY Post. “We’re signed up with our quarterback. We’ve got a pretty good tether, we’ve got five years. We like Mark.”

Johnson added that he believes Jets fans will see a “growth spurt” from Sanchez this season and that he will thrive in Tony Sparano’s offense. Time will tell if that is true or not, but I find it hard to believe that New York simply “passed” on Peyton Manning. Early reports indicated Manning would not consider playing in the same city as his brother, anyway. Add in the rumors that he is in search of a warm-weather destination and it sounds like the Jets would have been an extreme long-shot to sign the four-time MVP. Johnson and company could be happy with Sanchez as their quarterback of the future, but I doubt they would have turned Peyton away if he was interested in joining the team.

Woody Johnson, Derrick Mason Defend Mark Sanchez’s Work Ethic

Anonymous Jets sources ripped Mark Sanchez in a New York Daily News article published Wednesday. One of the notable criticisms of Sanchez was that he was “lazy.” Sanchez may not have grown as a quarterback, and he may be protected by the team from the media, but several Jets have disputed the accusation about his work ethic.

Center Nick Mangold says Sanchez puts in more work and more time than anybody else in the locker room. Team owner Woody Johnson said the same thing.

“He’s the first guy in the building every morning,” Johnson told MSNBC, “and the last guy to leave.”

Former Jets receiver Derrick Mason, who was traded to Houston in October, expressed similar support for Sanchez.

“I never seen the lack of effort [from Sanchez]. He worked extremely hard on the practice field. He studied his butt off and he’s a guy that wanted to get better each and every game,” Mason told FOX Sports Radio’s Andy Furman and Artrell Hawkins. “I just think he was inconsistent throughout the whole season last year.”

Mason didn’t have an explanation for Sanchez’s inconsistency, but he defended his work ethic.

If everyone says Sanchez is working hard, then why do people think he’s lazy? I think the issue is perception. When people see Sanchez posing in GQ spreads and hear him linked to women like Kate Upton, they immediately assume he’s just a partyer, even if he’s not. That’s why it’s best to wait until you’ve achieved high levels of success over several years in the NFL before you begin expanding your profile off the field.

Jets Owner Woody Johnson: Randy Moss Has Been and Can be a Superstar

Jets head coach Rex Ryan raised some eyebrows last month when he raved about free agent receiver Randy Moss, talking specifically about him as a deep threat. Rexy’s glowing review of Moss led to speculation that the Jets might be interested in signing the problematic yet talented receiver. Comments from the team’s owner to Albert Breer of NFL Network did little to quash that sentiment.

When asked about Randy Moss this week, Woody Johnson told NFL.com “There’s no question that Randy Moss has the capability, has the God-given talent to be a superstar, and he has been a superstar, particularly with the Patriots. That’s about all I can say about him, other than I admire his skill and what he’s accomplished during those years.”

It’s one thing to praise the past work of a player, which is easy to do with someone as accomplished as Moss. But Johnson spoke in the present tense, implying he still believes Moss can be great. If Johnson backs Randy and so does Rex Ryan, doesn’t that increase the likelihood they’ll take a chance on him?

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Giants and Jets Should Have Opened Up New Stadium Against Each Other

The New York Jets and the New York Giants both wanted to be the first to play in their new home, Meadowlands Stadium. Unfortunately, their fate was decided for them by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell via a coin flip. The almighty coin decided that the Giants would play the first game in the new stadium on Sunday Sept. 12, and the Jets would play the next night for Monday Night Football. Naturally, this led to some pretty ticked off Jets.

Neither of the team’s owners were present for the “coin flip,” leading Jets owner Woody Johnson to release the following angry statement:

“An NFL coin toss has a few fundamental elements that are missing here, most notably the presence of the teams involved,” Johnson said. “That’s how it’s always done in the league, whether it’s determining the order of the draft or deciding who’s going to kick off the game.”

Call me crazy, but couldn’t this have been worked out in way that would make both teams happy? How about doing a little inter-conference play? It’s not unheard of to make the first game of the season an inter-conference match-up. The Chicago Bears and the Indianapolis Colts played against each other for the first game of the 2008 season. The Cowboys and Patriots did it too in 1971. (I know that is an old reference but I have a point…)

Guess what else? The Bears vs. Colts and the Cowboys vs. Patriots were both played as the first regular season game in a NEW stadium.  It’s just boggles my mind as to why the NFL didn’t even seem to consider that as an option.

Sources:
Giants, Jets both christen Meadowlands [ESPN]