|Jaws says he loves Mark Sanchez, just not more than Peyton Manning. (Getty Images/US PRESSWIRE)|
By Ryan Wilson
There hasn't been much to report on the Peyton Manning front lately. The media furor surrounding the Colts' quarterback left Indianapolis about the same time the Super Bowl did. Which lends credence to the theory that the Manning-Jim Irsay back-and-forth was all about winning the PR battle while the biggest game of the year was played in their backyard.
The most recent speculation has the Seahawks interested in Manning, assuming the 36-year-old quarterback will be healthy enough to resume his career in 2012 and that the Colts cut him loose in the coming weeks. (Peyton's due $28 million on March 13; we can't see a scenario where Irsay forks over that kind of dough.)
But perhaps we're being too presumptuous. Here's what Seahawks general manager John Schnieder said last week.
“I’ve been blessed to be around a lot of really good quarterback people that have taught me a lot about the position,” Schneider said lastThursday. “So I just kind of incorporate that with the quarterbacks I’ve been around. I just try to take all the information possible from everybody I’ve been around. Ijust know if you panic at the position, it can set the organization back. So we're not going to do that,"
“That may disappoint fans, because they want to see an instant guy and have that instant success,” Schneider continued. “But really, you’re better off continuing to build your team. Initially when I got here, I thought we were going to plug the quarterback in and we were going built around him. If we had done that, we would have panicked in a way. And I’m not sure we would have been able to host the Saints (in the 2010 wild-card playoff game) and had that great atmosphere and all that.”
There's something to be said for not panicking. Then again, it's hard to convince the fan base that you're taking the position seriously when you trade for Charlie Whitehurst and a year later sign Tarvaris Jackson. The former isn't a capable backup and the latter was described perfectly by NFL Network's Mike Mayock this week, “He’s developed to a certain point, but I think that position needs to be upgraded. And I don’t mind T-Jack competing for the position, but I think you either have to get a free agent in there or you have to draft somebody.”
But Seattle isn't the only team breathlessly included in the Manning sweepstakes. There are the other usual suspects: the Redskins, Dolphins and Jets. ESPN's Ron Jaworski, most recently identified as the third wheel in Monday Night Football's new two-man booth, was asked about Manning's NFL future.
“I think Peyton Manning ends up playing somewhere else (other than Indianapolis)," he said during an appearance 97.5 in Philadelphia (via SportsRadioInterviews.com). "I think it’s a win-win for everyone. Certainly, when you look at the Colts right now, they’re a team that’s going through their development process with a new coaching staff and new players. It’s going to be just like when Peyton came on board, years to develop that football team. I think it’s best for Peyton to go and play on a team that can compete for a Super Bowl, a team that might be a quarterback away from elevating that team to Super Bowl status and I think that would be a win-win situation.”
When asked about potential destinations, Jaws suggested what a lot of people have been thinking for months.
“The New York Jets. … I love Mark Sanchez and there are 25 other quarterbacks in this league that I would take Peyton Manning over. There’s a turf war in New York. The Giants just won the Super Bowl. The Jets are fighting for every inch of space they can get in the newspaper. How do you get that inch? How do you get the headlines? You sign Peyton Manning.”
Jaworski joins Curtis Martin, us, and we imagine Rex Ryan, who won't admit it now but has almost certainly given some thought to the possibility.
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