|"I’m not saying anything against Sanchez," Martin said. ... "If Manning was available, I would go after him" (US PRESSWIRE)|
By Ryan Wilson
Everyone, it seems, has an opinion on Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez. One camp supports the guy and wants him back in New York (head coach Rex Ryan's current stance); the other camp prefers anybody but Sanchez, although if they had their choice, Peyton Manning would be at the top of the list.
Manning, of course, is still a member of the Colts and recovering from neck surgery that kept him out for the 2011 season. But his time left in Indianapolis may be down to days or weeks.
Ryan spoke recently about both quarterbacks: “I can’t talk about Peyton Manning. He’s on some other team right now. But Mark Sanchez is the future of the Jets. He’s a great quarterback and again, I can’t wait to get it going."
Which is pretty much what Ryan has to say. And no matter how many times he repeats himself, there will be those people who think there are better options out there. Take former Jets running back Curtis Martin. He's all for Manning relocating to New York should he become available.
“That’s a great opportunity,” said the Hall of Fame finalist Saturday in an interview with ESPNNewYork.com's Rich Cimini. “I’m not saying anything against Mark Sanchez, but Peyton Manning … I have a lot of respect for the guy. I played against him for a number of years. I wouldn’t care who was on my team -- if Peyton Manning was available, I would go after him.”
Martin qualified by saying that he'd pass on Manning if Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady or Drew Brees, but that's it.
“I’m very bullish on taking that chance,” Martin said. “I don’t care if he’s 38, 36, whatever, I would be interested in taking that chance. At 35, 36, I’m definitely interested. You’re literally talking about one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game. Him having a year off, the type of competitor Peyton Manning is, I think he’s going to come back and surprise everyone and be even stronger -- if he can come back.”
And that very well may be, it's just that it's not clear where Manning will be playing.
Cimini writes that Jets owner Woody Johnson, during a recent interview, didn't rule out the possibility of pursing Manning. Cimini added: "There are growing indications that the Jets, despite public support for Sanchez, are monitoring the situation and will explore it if he’s released."
Seems reasonable despite Ryan publicly supporting Sanchez several times this offseason. It was Ryan, after all, who announced that he expected offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer to return to the Jets if he didn't land a head-coaching gig. Neither happened, and the former was less surprising than the latter.
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