We are reaching silly season on the Peyton Manning front. Depending on which reporter you listen to, he has no interest in playing in the NFC, has the Redskins (who play in the NFC) as one of his three choices along with Denver and Miami, or has no interest in the Redskins. This is pretty much par for the course for big ticket free agents in any sport. Everybody wants to act like they are in the know and to get the first scoop so they run with the first rumor they hear. I advise you to avoid the rumor mill if you want to keep your sanity these next few days.
What will interest me is what we will hear or not hear from Florham Park over the next 24 to 36 hours. We all know the Jets reached out to Manning's representatives two days ago to judge his level of interest and see whether they would be wasting their time trying to land him.
If Manning has legitimate interest, the Jets very well might go for it. Otherwise they would not be asking. I think we are going to know soon how serious this courtship is. If Manning is not a realistic target, the Jets have every reason to make it public as soon as possible. There have been multiple reports starting with one Christmas Day that the Jets are not sold on Mark Sanchez. If Manning is off the table, and they are going with Sanchez, they would be smart to give their quarterback a vote of confidence as soon as possible to try and rebuild his psyche.
If we continue to hear crickets from Florham Park, it stands to reason the Jets are making a serious play for Manning. In this case, they would need to keep things silent for the risk of missing out and having an awkward situation where they tried to get rid of Sanchez and failed. I think the tangible impact of this will be grossly overestimated in the media. Sanchez is a professional who is paid handsomely. He has struck me as somebody with a decent head on his shoulders who will not throw a Jay Cutler style fit just because his team looked in another direction. It would create a major distraction and negative headlines, though.
Furthermore, the Jets would need to keep a Manning pursuit quiet so they would keep leverage if they decided to trade Sanchez. The Jets are not going to be able to afford both Sanchez and Manning. Any team with interest in Sanchez (if such a team actually exists, which is no sure bet) would likely be inclined to just wait for Mark to be cut to sign him rather than give up a pick if it knew the Jets were on the verge of signing Peyton .
The Jets will probably not hold a press conference to announce they are out of the Manning Sweepstakes. They would probably leak something to friendly national and beat writers that Peyton is unlikely. The longer they are silent, the louder their silence gets.