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.