Buzz: Peyton Manning is NOT the answer for the Jets

That this headline was even necessary is truly disappointing. Gary Myers is trolling Jets fans with a Peyton Manning-to-the-Jets argument, like bloggers masquerading as NFL scouts do in the offseason, and we’re taking the bait.

Peyton Manning to the Jets is an awful idea, and no convoluted logic can convince otherwise. It’s an asinine suggestion bred from the same womb of insanity where Manning as a 2011 MVP candidate flourished. It’s lazy, irresponsible, and unrealistic. We detest this opinion.

The bottom line is that, even if the Jets find a miracle on Sunday and back their way into the playoffs, they are not winning the Super Bowl this season as Ryan has so often guaranteed.

They need to shake things up offensively, and bringing in Manning for a season or two would do much more toward getting them to a Super Bowl than firing offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer would.

Here is where Jets fans are supposed to believe that Peyton Manning, a renowned postseason choke artist, holds the other half to Rex Ryan’s Super Bowl heart pendant. (More on Schottenheimer later.)

Myers would have readers believe that Manning, he of multiple NFL accolades and prolific regular-season passing performances, can easily achieve at 36 what he’s only accomplished once in his storied career. Just so we’re clear, we’re talking about Super Bowl wins.

The absolutely hilarious thing here is that Manning was dreadful en route to his only Super Bowl title. From the Wild Card round and into Super Bowl 41, Manning threw three touchdowns and seven picks while Adam Vinatieri and the Colts defense kept Indy afloat. Also, Rex Grossman happened.

Regardless, Manning’s only championship-winning year saw a 101.0 regular-season passer rating drop to 70.5 in January.

The Colts were not a Lombardi-collecting dynasty with a younger and healthier Manning in his prime. He won’t help the Jets now.

Oh, just for fun: As a rookie in 2009, Sanchez’s 63.9 regular-season passer rating soared to 92.7 in the playoffs; it jumped from 75.3 to 95.5 in 2010, as well.

*****

Before we continue, let’s step back into Myers’ column a bit and briefly batter this blip of a remark:

Eli’s big brother could also help the Jets in their obsession with not being the Giants’ little brother.

But on Sept. 7, Myers wrote in an article titled “Rex Ryan’s Jets are now the big brother of New York NFL football, overtaking Tom Coughlin’s Giants” (HOLY SEO!):

The Giants and Jets play at MetLife Stadium on Dec. 24. The real bragging rights argument won’t truly be settled unless the Jets and Giants meet in a Super Bowl.

Until then, it’s the Jets’ town, and they are the team to beat. And as Ryan said in his book: “Whether you like it or not, those are the facts.”

It’s that kind of flip-flopping in New York’s sports media that frustrates readers to no end.

For the sake of Myers’ September article, last weekend’s Jets-Giants game was inconsequential in determining true bragging rights — because it’s no Super Bowl. But in his argument for Peyton Manning, he invokes the tired “big brother vs. little brother” point of contention after trying to dismantle it three months ago.

We see what you’re doing there, Myers. Classic trolling.

*****

ONWARD!

Teaming Luck with Manning is an option for the Colts, but it would be uncomfortable for both of them – Archie Manning said so a couple of weeks ago. “I don’t think it’d necessarily be great for either one,” the elder Manning said.

First-round quarterbacks no longer sit on the bench for a couple of years. There’s a much better chance that the Colts get rid of Manning than pass on Luck.

Well, if Archie Manning said so…

According to Jason La Canfora, Colts owner Jim Irsay would like to have Manning and his heir on the roster, should business and health allow it. But never you mind that, Myers.

The Colts would be better served acquiring a veteran like Donovan McNabb to compete with Andrew Luck next summer. No need to keep Manning around as a veteran presence with that kind of tutelage in the open market.

Manning signed a new contract right after the lockout. The Colts must decide by March 9 — four days before the start of the 2012 league year — whether to pick up his $28 million option bonus, which is payable in $14 million installments on March 15 of 2013 and 2014. His base salary for 2012 is $7.4 million, meaning the Colts would owe him $35.4 million next year after paying him $26.4 million in 2011 while he sat on the sideline.

In an interview with Rich Eisen on Dec. 22, Irsay wasn’t troubled by the money matters, saying, “I don’t see that being an issue. I paid him $26 million this season and he didn’t play and I knew it was an iffy situation. If he’s healthy and he can play, he’ll be back here.”

Owner-speak is rarely law, and should never be interpreted as such, but the operative phrasing in Irsay’s comment is “if he’s healthy.”

We’re more inclined to run with that brand of honesty before Archie’s assessment. Otherwise, we’d all be calling for Joe Namath to be the next head coach.

Sarcasm aside and pure football at the forefront, the Jets would be unwise to stagger Sanchez’s growth for a questionable Manning. It really is that simple.

If Manning suffers a setback or is reinjured, the Jets could give the job back to Sanchez, who would provide valuable insurance.

Sanchez’s ego would take a major hit, but he was handed one of the premier jobs in the NFL after just 16 college starts and hasn’t earned the right for this to be a lifetime appointment.

Sanchez is due $8.5 million in 2012 in the fourth year of his five-year deal. I can’t see any team investing huge dollars in Manning because of concerns about his neck. There’s enough flexibility in the way teams structure contracts that the Jets could find a way to fit Manning and Sanchez under the salary cap.

Don’t you see why this is so crazy, now? You have to. That’s cake and eating it, too.

The Jets don’t need to squeeze two quarterback contracts under the cap next offseason. They need to monitor the right-tackle market, because Wayne Hunter could give up the sack that ends Sanchez’s career and Vlad Ducasse looks like an unfortunate whiff.

What impact could an immobile Peyton Manning have when Hunter gets bull rushed out of his cleats?

And then Tannenbaum needs to make a decision on Jim Leonhard and upgrade Eric Smith’s spot with a full-time playmaker. And if there’s time and money, the Jets need to look for linebacker help, inside and out.

Sanchez is still struggling with his accuracy, and is very likely rushing his reads to avoid being crushed when Hunter does his best speed-bump impression. But do not neglect the ineffectiveness of the Jets’ screen passes, Shonn Greene’s drops, or Santonio Holmes’s inconsistency for the sake of this absurd Manning idea.

And even before player personnel is even addressed, Tannenbaum needs to be absolutely honest about Schottenheimer — and move forward without him. Because if anyone knows how to plug a quarterback into a broken system, it’s him.

Adam Schein dissected Schottenheimer’s deficiencies on Dec. 28, and it’s hard to argue with him. (Truth be told, we’re not interested in debating Schein on the point, either.)

“It is inexcusable to throw the ball 60 times with Mark Sanchez,” Schein writes. Unless you’re in a shootout, it’s inexcusable to ever throw the ball that many times.

But remember this: in the summer of 2008, when Ryan was still in Baltimore, the Jets vehemently denied any interest in acquiring Brett Favre — until they were introducing him as their starting QB.

Also, remember this: in the winter of 2008, the Jets collapsed under Favre’s watch, missed the playoffs, and sent Gang Green into a new coaching regime. Not a strong way to cap the argument, Mr. Myers.

Like Favre was to Kellen Clemens, acquiring Manning would be an indictment on Sanchez and his future with the team. There is no coming back from that.

Acquiring Manning would be a step in the wrong direction with a quarterback who has struggled to beat the Jets’ nemesis in New England. It would handcuff the Jets from securing more talent around him. And, again, like Favre, it will mean nothing with Schottenheimer’s playbook.

We’re not rushing Manning’s retirement or saying he’s finished. He’ll likely be the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year after 2012, but it doesn’t need to happen in New York.

Sanchez needs to improve, but situations around him need to be addressed before justifying a quarterback change. He should be experienced enough now to absorb a new offensive system, should the Jets finally move on from Schotty this offseason; and Mike & Rex should know they can’t stand pat with stop-gap players when upgrades are necessary.