Saturday, March 10, 2012

Manning Seemed Leery of Gang Green's Clowns

Great article by Gary Myers of The NY Daily News

Rex Ryan has failed on his Super Bowl guarantees, and now Peyton Manning has hit him with the biggest blow to his ego and program: The three-ring circus Jets, with their dysfunctional locker room, are not the No. 1 destination for the best players in the league.
The Jets have an image problem. They have shifted from a fun-loving Animal House gang with a laugh-track coach to a circus that not only isn’t the greatest show on Earth, it’s not even the greatest show in New York.

So, going to the crisis handbook on damage control now that they are officially eliminated from the Manning Sweepstakes, the Jets announced late Friday night that even though Mark Sanchez has two years left on his contract, even though he is coming off the worst of his three seasons and GM Mike Tannenbaum had expressed interest in Manning, they had extended Sanchez’s deal by three years.
As soon as the Jets knew they would not get Manning, they finalized the deal with Sanchez. If they had been able to get Manning, then the Sanchez extension goes away. The extension is worth $40.5 million and over the next two years he has $20.5 million guaranteed.
Hey Mark, you’re still our guy, still our San-chise.
Of course, Sanchez has not done enough to earn the extension. Tannenbaum said negotiations have been going on for several weeks. But they were also talking about Manning. Only the Jets.
This deal makes no sense. If Sanchez stinks again this year, the guaranteed money he has coming in 2013 would rob the Jets of flexibility to get rid of him.
It was never Peyton-or-bust. But after showing interest, the Jets had to bring back Sanchez with a smile. They’ve seen enough of that pouty face. The easiest solution: more years, more money.
When the itinerary for the Peyton Over America tour surfaced Friday and the Jets weren’t on it, it became clear they had not made the cut.
Manning met for six hours with the Broncos on Friday night. John Elway, who runs the Broncos, has never seemed sold on Tebow Mania and signing Manning would put the hysteria on hold.

The next stop for Manning reportedly will be Arizona, which overpaid last year for Eagles backup Kevin Kolb. He disappointed. The Cardinals are excited about the idea of Manning throwing to Larry Fitzgerald. And then Manning will be stopping by the Dolphins, who are considered the favorites. Manning has a condo in South Beach and the Dolphins would be immediate playoff contenders with him.
It is too early to declare that Sanchez is a lost cause even though he regressed last season after helping the Jets get to the AFC title game in each of his first two years.
The Jets’ locker room was so toxic by the end of the season that it should have been condemned. They remain dysfunctional, and that doesn’t change just because Ryan says it’s going to change. Ryan admitted he was oblivious to much of the tension that was going on in the locker room on the other side of the building.
Hey Peyton, want to join the circus? No thanks.
Joe Namath all but advised Manning to stay away from the Jets as if they were gangrene, not Gang Green.
“The Jets have to get things together on their own turf before someone with his background would be interested in coming,” Namath told Bloomberg News earlier this week.
The Jets had an easy out in this one. Tannenbaum can use his old standby line that he was doing his due diligence, but Manning surely did his due diligence on the Jets, too. Manning being Manning, he couldn’t have liked what he found.
There could have been other factors that worked against the Jets, too. Manning may have felt New York is his brother Eli’s town and he didn’t want to intrude. He may not have wanted anything to do with the inevitable Manning vs. Manning comparisons that would have appeared in the Daily News every Monday.
Or, he simply may not want have wanted to join the circus.

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