Despite refusing to shut the door on Manning, at least in their public comments, the Jets remain firmly in Sanchez's corner. They will explore the Manning situation, according to sources, but the vibe from people inside and outside the organization is that it would take a momentous shift for them to bail on Sanchez. Their 2012 blueprint is built around him.
But it can be a double-edged sword. The Jets want to perform due diligence on Manning -- they'd be crazy not to -- but they don't want to alienate Sanchez, who already has to be wondering about his standing in the locker room after all the postseason criticism.
I do not think this is the right approach. Manning's throwing is reportedly improving. There is not a doubt that he would be a huge upgrade over Sanchez. Contrary to popular belief, I also think getting Manning would be a move for stability. Based on what we saw at the end of last season, there is not much to feel confident about with Sanchez. Yes, adding another deep threat or a right tackle might make things better. So might Tony Sparano's offense. There is not really a ton of evidence you can point to, though, that would make you expect that. It is more of a hope. There is a real possibility that the Jets stick with Sanchez, he does not improve, the team throws him overboard after next year, the Jets are back to square one, and the primes of Darrelle Revis, Nick Mangold, D'Brickashaw Ferguson, and David Harris are wasted.
With Manning, you are a contender for the next two to three years. You know that malcontent receiver the Jets have? Won't he be a lot happier with the best quarterback in the league getting him the ball in stride consistently? Manning fixes problems like that and buys the Jets time to find and groom a replacement for a few years down the line. For all of its problems, this team had a top five defense and a 1,000 yard rusher. They would be one of the top in the league with a top flight quarterback.
The whole being afraid to alienate Sanchez thing seems like a really hollow reason to not go hard after Manning. He is a professional. It reminds me of the people who say the Jets should not get a guy like Jason Campbell because he could beat Mark out for the starting job. If Sanchez can't beat out a middle tier guy like Campbell by his fourth year, he is not going to be a franchise quarterback. Similarly, if he cannot handle the implications of the team chasing Manning, he probably is not suited to be a franchise quarterback in New York.
Actually landing Manning looks like a difficult task, but I think the Jets need to make every effort tot ry and do so.
Cimini notes another piece of the team's thinking.
This is going to seem really weird, but as of right now, they want Henne more than Manning. They believe Henne would be the ideal No. 2.
This is something that does not make a ton of sense to me. Henne is not better than Sanchez. He has the same flaws with none of the great moments in big spots. Is he really going to push Mark? I can undestand the school of thought that Henne has talent and could use a fresh start. The problem is the Jets would not be a fresh start. He would be in the same system with the same coach who could not get him to succeed in Miami.