What Would You Trade For Wayne Hunter?

What in the world does Mike Tannenbaum think he is getting for Wayne Hunter?

Is there anything more simultaneously entertaining and sad than hearing about the New York Jets shopping Wayne Hunter for a trade? I didn’t think it could get any worse than trying to get a team to trade for Bart Scott, an aging linebacker who can’t be on the field on passing downs, can’t tackle and is owed 4 million dollars…well it can when you are trying to trade a right tackle who simply can’t block for 2.5 million guaranteed.

Can you hear Tannenbaum’s pitch on the phone?

“Listen, I know this guy almost got our quarterback killed last year and was repeatedly beat like a drum every single week but there is potential there. What? Yes…I know Andre Carter, Jason Babin, Jarret Johnson, and Von Miller all won Defensive Player of the Week because of Wayne, you see he is a giver! C’mon now, he yelled at Santonio Holmes in the huddle for us at least. How about a 5th rounder? A 6th rounder? A conditional 7th?. Fine. Bye”

I think the Jets could probably get Justin McCariens in return for Hunter, if he un-retired and joined the Titans again. They might be able to get Ray Lucas from SNY to backup Mark Sanchez. They could always trade him to us here at TOJ, we could use an enforcer, I’ll send back a signed picture of me catching a 6 yard out route in college for our Division III team.

TOJ 12 Pack: New York Jets Quarterback Position

TOJ with 12 thoughts on the New York Jets quarterback position

Mark Sanchez. Peyton Manning. Mark Sanchez’s feelings. Peyton Manning’s neck. Mark Sanchez’s attitude. Peyton Manning’s flights. Chad Henne. Jason Campbell. And so the cycle continues, let’s talk about the New York Jets quarterback position –

1. It certainly sounds like the New York Jets are just about out of the Peyton Manning sweepstakes. Is it over? Of course not but right now with trips lined up to Denver, Miami, and Arizona those three seem like the most logical destinations. By the way, why isn’t everybody worried about Tim Tebow’s feelings being hurt as John Elway aggressively recruits Manning? Personally, I have thought Manning will end up in Arizona all along. It makes the most football sense and he could use Miami to drive up the price on them. Nobody in sports, outside of maybe the New Jersey Nets, gets more hype for going after big names and then continually comes up nothing more than the Dolphins.

2. None of these teams could be crazy enough to give Manning any type of guaranteed contract without watching him workout first, right?

3. I am as pro-Sanchez of a person you will find out there but by no means do I think Mike Tannenbaum did the wrong thing by inquiring about Manning. He is doing his due diligence like 12 other team’s GMs did. Tannenbaum has made plenty of mistakes recently, most notably guaranteeing Wayne Hunter’s contract and then trying to trade him a month later when he is arguably the worst offensive starter in the league, but this isn’t one of them.

4. On to Sanchez, I am exhausted of hearing about his emotional and physical anguish because of the Jets inquiring about Peyton Manning. First off, Sanchez has been off the grid since the season ended, so unless you have been hanging out with the guy, you have no idea what his current mental state is. According to reports he has been working out at the team facility recently and prior to that likely took a few weeks off to be with his family and friends. Bottom line is that Sanchez has to deal with this. Since he has been drafted what has he done to show you that he isn’t competitive or not intelligent? I can’t remember too much. He knows this is part of being quarterback in New York and he has no choice but to prepare to make improvements next year.

5. That being said, it is about time to hear something from Sanchez. Let’s end the media blackout. I am not against “letting his play and actions” do the talking but it doesn’t hurt to give an interview or two. It is time to hear “this is my offense, I will get it in order and I am ready to roll.”

6. Can we stop acting like Sanchez was Josh Freeman last year? Oh wait, you mean Freeman who is constantly lauded by the mainstream media as having “tons of potential” despite winning 4 games last year, throwing 16 touchdowns and 22 interceptions while Sanchez is considered “done and a lock to be an average quarterback” even though in his supposed “worst year” threw 26 touchdowns, ran for 6 more, and threw 18 interceptions along with winning 8 games.

7. We all know Sanchez struggled down the stretch last year but why, oh why would you give up on him after three years? Go look at Eli Manning and Drew Brees stats after 3 years and then remember they didn’t beat Tom Brady and Peyton Manning head to head on the road in the playoffs within those first 3 years. I don’t know if Sanchez will ever be a “top ten” quarterback in this league and honestly I don’t care because I do believe he has already proven to be good enough for the Jets to win with him, because with him as a starter they are 27-20 in the regular season and 4-2 in the playoffs.

8. Focusing on building around Sanchez, the most important thing is protecting him. I don’t believe for a second that Wayne Hunter will be the opening day starter at right tackle next year. I also think the Jets will add a solid blocking tight end and have improved depth with Robert Turner back and Austin Howard continuing to develop.

9. Valid criticisms of Sanchez – He gets rattled after taking a few hits. He lets a few bad throws snowball into a bad game. His body language isn’t great. His mechanics are inconsistent.

10. Invalid criticisms of Sanchez – He doesn’t have the arm to make every throw needed. He doesn’t work hard. He isn’t athletic. He has never “won” any games for his team.

11. I think the Jets want to add Chad Henne as a backup and it makes a ton of sense but he could very well end up being too costly.

12. Any backup is an improvement over the Mark Brunell joke from the past two years.

History Teaches The Lesson: What The Jets Will Do This Off-Season

If history is any indication, this is the approach the New York Jets will take this off-season…

When attempting to understand what the New York Jets could do in the off-season, the best approach is to study the history of Mike Tannenbaum’s career as the team’s General Manager. We broke down that history in a two part series right here:

Part 1, The Mangini Years

Part 2, The Ryan Years

After review, here are a few things to expect –

Trades – Mike Tannenbaum has traded for a starter in every single off-season he has been the General Manager, except for last year. In total he has acquired eight starters via trade: Kevan Barlow, Thomas Jones, Brett Favre, Kris Jenkins, Lito Sheppard, Braylon Edwards, Antonio Cromartie, and Santonio Holmes. He also hasn’t hesitated to trade away big name veterans on his team, most notably dealing John Abraham, Pete Kendall, Jonathan Vilma, Dewayne Robertson, Kerry Rhodes, Leon Washington and Dwight Lowery.

It would be reasonable to expect the Jets to address one of the needs they can’t fill via free agency or the draft through a trade or two. Neither safety or tackle has an impressive list of available free agents, so look for Tannenbaum to target teams with a surplus at the position in the coming months. We also know the Jets window for making a big trade extends all the way into the regular season, as we saw with Braylon Edwards. As for players on their own team who could be on the market, we already know Bart Scott is and it wouldn’t be the craziest thing in the world to see Dustin Keller traded.

Familiar Names – Tannenbaum won’t hesitate to pursue players that his coaching staff has worked with in the past. For Eric Mangini, be brought in Matt Chatham, Ty Law, Tim Dwight, and Hank Poteat about eight thousand times. For Rex Ryan, he signed Bart Scott, Jim Leonhard, Marques Douglas, Trevor Pryce, Derrick Mason, and Howard Green. Many are speculating the Jets will add multiple ex-Dolphins this off-season to help retool the offense, notably Chad Henne, Vernon Carey, Anthony Fasano, and Ronnie Brown because of their familiarity with new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano. Even though he isn’t a head coach, it is a safe bet to expect to see at least a couple of former Dolphins added to the Jets roster this year. Beyond that, don’t be surprised to see Tannenbaum sign Jarret Johnson or Jameel McClain who both played for Rex Ryan in Baltimore.

Big Names – The reason there is validity to Peyton Manning to the New York Jets is because Mike Tannenbaum found a way to get Brett Favre to come here, after the Jets just went through a 4-12 season. He can recruit the big name, which is why it would be foolish to think the Jets have no shot at Manning.

Making Space Where There Is None – It seems that nearly every year the Jets are portrayed as having no cap space, yet then Mike Tannenbaum restructures a few deals, swings a few trades and the Jets end up having an active off-season. I am not saying they are going to pull in a handful of marquee names in the coming weeks but the Jets will be active and aggressive in attempting to fill their holes.


TOJ with breaking news on the New York Jets pursuit of Peyton Manning

Considering how NFL news is being reported these days, I found it important to pass along the following information on the New York Jets pursuit of Peyton Manning. The following has been confirmed by a source –

– The New York Jets will inquire about Peyton Manning potentially playing for them.

– The New York Jets will determine how healthy Peyton Manning is.

– If Peyton Manning is healthy to the team’s standards and expresses a desire to play in New York, the Jets will make an offer to him.

– If he accepts that offer, he will be their starting quarterback next year.

– If he declines that offer, they will attempt to make nice with Mark Sanchez…and Sanchez will get over it and be under center for the Jets next year.

– Certain players on the New York Jets team think they’d be better off with Peyton Manning, others would rather stick with Sanchez.

My source? It is called common sense and it doesn’t need a headline on a New York newspaper or a bunch of asterisks next to it on Twitter (looking at you Incarcerated Bob).

Of course the New York Jets will inquire about Peyton Manning. Mike Tannenbaum would be negligent in his job if he didn’t. You know who else will inquire about Manning in the coming days, either publicly or not publicly? About 18 other teams. It is called doing your job. You at least research what Manning’s status is in terms of monetary demands and health.

If the Jets reach out, determine he is healthy to the team’s standards and he says, “hey, Mike, Rex, and Woody I want to be a Jet.” Guess what, folks? He is going to be on the team. Woody is too much of a star lover and Rex is too infatuated with Manning’s skills for it not to. Is that going to happen? Probably not. Is it a smart decision, if it does sign with them? Probably not, but that is an argument for a different day.

Finally if the Jets pursue Manning, fall short and turn back to Sanchez, he will deal with his “hurt feelings” that people are speculating about and remain their starting quarterback. People are talking like Sanchez is going to demand a trade the second the Jets call Manning’s agent. Where is Sanchez demanding a trade to? Where does he think he will be welcomed as an unquestioned starter? The kid isn’t stupid and he is a competitor. If given a chance to remain the Jets starter, regardless of a Manning pursuit, he will do it…he will do it because he will want to prove himself and the Jets will give him the best chance to do that. You think he wants to run off to Seattle to split snaps in camp with Tavaris Jackson? Stop it.

Finally, it isn’t news that “certain players” in the Jets locker room anonymously think Peyton Manning is better than Mark Sanchez. Manning is a first ballot Hall of Famer, it isn’t hard to find somebody to say they’d rather have him under center. But wait…maybe it is, since that person won’t reveal their name. I do know Nick Mangold, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Dustin Keller, Muhammad Wilkerson, Darrelle Revis, Sione Pouha, Antonio Cromartie, and multiple others have put their name to supporting Sanchez.

Let’s not let the Manning madness blind us to the fact that the Jets have one safety under contract right now and are in a division with the New England Patriots, who have 2 of the 5 league’s best tight ends or that Wayne Hunter is still the starting right tackle.

I hope the common sense source continues to divulge knowledge for the rest of the off-season.

New York Jets Free Agent Rumors Picking Up

TOJ on the names being linked with the New York Jets in free agency, not named Peyton Manning

Don’t worry, we’ll get to the Peyton Manning talk you maniacs. But for now there is other chatter picking up around who the New York Jets will pursue in free agency this off-season. In case you forgot, this team still needs help at linebacker, safety, offensive line and wide receiver. Let’s look at what we’ve been hearing –

Erin Henderson – An under the rader linebacker who Evan Silva speculated the Jets could pursue. The team recently hired Karl Dunbar to be the defensive line coach so he should be familiar with Henderson’s ability since both were in Minnesota last year. Henderson could be an affordable option to replace Bart Scott when the Jets eventually dump him.

Ronnie Brown – We speculated here back in January that the Jets would have interest in Brown and it has recently been confirmed by ESPN’s Rich Cimini. This is logical move as Brown would come on a veteran’s minimum deal, is familiar with Tony Sparano’s offense and provides a successor to LaDainian Tomlinson as a reliable veteran who can contribute in a variety of ways. Brown is solid in pass protection, as a receiver and could offer 5-7 carries a game, along with helping bring the Wildcat element to the Jets offense. If the Jets do sign him, it tells you everything you need to know about what the team thinks of Bilal Powell being ready to contribute.

Jarret Johnson – The Baltimore Sun and a few other outlets have been reporting this. Johnson played for Rex Ryan in Baltimore and would be a stopgap at outside linebacker to replace to Bryan Thomas. He is excellent against the run but doesn’t really get after the passer, sound familiar? If the Jets can draft a pass rusher in the first round to groom behind him, this is a sensible move.

Jameel McClain – The Baltimore Sun also reported the Jets being interested in McClain, another Ravens linebacker. McClain could be a replacement for Bart Scott, if the team doesn’t go after Erin Henderson or hand the job off to Josh Mauga.

Chad Henne – It is no surprise to anybody that the Jets are being linked with Henne considering his history with Tony Sparano. His price tag could end up being a little high for a backup.

Braylon Edwards – The Daily News reported the Jets having interest if “the price is right and he is healthy.” This means if he comes on a veteran’s minimum deal and that the team won’t move on him for a few months.

Many people are assuming the Jets will interested in Vernon Carey at right tackle and Anthony Fasano at tight end, if he is released. There has been no official reports on this however. It also makes sense to think the Jets will take a hard look at the few remaining names at safety, including Reggie Nelson, LaRon Landry, and Reggie Smith.

Mike Tannenbaum’s Career As New York Jets GM: Part 2, The Ryan Years

An evaluation of Mike Tannenbaum’s career as the New York Jets GM, focusing on 2009-2011

New York Jets General Manger Mike Tannenbaum deserves a large share of the credit for the New York Jets being a playoff team in 2006, 2009 and 2010. He also deserves a large share of the credit for the Jets missing the playoffs in 2007, 2008, and 2011. Since taking over as GM, the Jets have been a .500 or better team in 5 of 6 seasons but have only made the playoffs half of the time. Basically, you are getting a 8-8 to 10-6 team who could sneak into the playoffs depending on how strong the rest of the conference is. Mike Tannenbaum is going to field a competitive team but he hasn’t shown the ability to put together a roster good enough to be one of the NFL’s elite.

Zero division titles. Zero 12 win seasons yet three playoff berths and four playoff wins. Tannenbaum’s resume is an inconsistent one, as a closer look at this history reveals, a history that should provide some insight into what the Jets will do in the coming months:



Primary Additions

Draft Class – Mark Sanchez, Shonn Greene, Matt Slauson

Free Agency Bart Scott, Jim Leonhard, Marques Douglas, Donald Strickland, Ben Hartsock, Howard Green

Trade Lito Sheppard, Braylon Edwards

Primary Subtractions

Released Laveranues Coles, Mike Nugent, Chris Baker, Bubba Franks, CJ Mosley, Eric Barton, David Bowens, David Barrett, Hank Poteat, Ty Law

Traded Chansi Stuckey, Jason Trusnik, Kenyon Coleman, Brett Ratliff, Abram Elam

Mike Tannenbaum hired a new coach in Rex Ryan and spent the entire off-season rebuilding the roster to fit his new coach’s identity. He succeeded in giving him the necessary pieces to help create the league’s top defense in 2009 but made his biggest splash in the draft by trading up for quarterback Mark Sanchez and then supplementing it by trading up for Shonn Greene. If you look at the list of players the Jets parted ways with this off-season, it is encouraging especially when you consider how many of the players brought in contributed to two teams that made the AFC Championship Game. Ultimately this off-season really can’t be judged until we see what happens with Sanchez and to a much lesser extent, Greene in the coming years.


Primary Additions

Draft Class – Kyle Wilson, Vladimir Ducasse, Joe McKnight, John Conner

Free Agency Nick Folk, Brodney Pool, LaDainian Tomlinson, Lance Laury, Jason Taylor, Mark Brunell, Trevor Pryce

Trade Antonio Cromartie, Santonio Holmes

Primary Subtractions

Released Donald Strickland, Howard Green, Thomas Jones, Alan Faneca, Jay Feely, Lito Sheppard

Traded Kerry Rhodes, Leon Washington

There were plenty of controversial moves this off-season, notably releasing Thomas Jones and Alan Faneca, along with trading Leon Washington. Fortunately for Tannenbaum, the team improved from 9-7 to 11-5 and returned to the AFC Championship Game for the second straight year. However, he did continue a damaging trend of walking away from the draft with four or less players. He also selected his second major bust by taking Vladimir Ducasse in the second round. Kyle Wilson has been average for a first round pick as well. If Santonio Holmes doesn’t get his head on straight, this off-season is going to look very ugly a few years from now.


Primary Additions

Draft Class – Muhammad Wilkerson, Kenrick Ellis, Bilal Powell, Jeremy Kerley, Greg McElroy, Scotty McKnight

Free Agency Donald Strickland, Plaxico Burress, Derrick Mason, Aaron Maybin

Trade Caleb Schlauderaff

Primary Subtractions

Released Damien Woody, Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery, Jason Taylor, Kris Jenkins, Shaun Ellis, Tony Richardson, Trevor Pryce, Brad Smith, Drew Coleman

Traded Dwight Lowery, Derrick Mason

One of the Tannenbaum’s worst off-seasons, if not his worst. He went for names over needs by focusing the team’s effort on chasing Nnamdi Asomugha in free agency and came up empty. He then replaced Braylon Edwards, the only player Mark Sanchez ever had deep ball chemistry with, by signing Plaxico Burress. The Jets badly missed Cotchery and Ellis in the locker room and the depth Lowery provided at safety. The Mason signing was a disaster and he was traded in the middle of the season. The best move ended up being finding Aaron Maybin on the scrap heap and then giving him a second chance after initially cutting him. It is too soon to clearly evaluate the draft but Wilkerson looks like he will be a solid starter and Kerley has very good potential. I believe the Powell selection will turn out to be a major head scratcher.

Mike Tannenbaum’s Career As New York Jets GM: Part 1, The Mangini Years

An evaluation of Mike Tannenbaum’s career as the New York Jets GM, focusing on 2006-2008

New York Jets General Manger Mike Tannenbaum deserves a large share of the credit for the New York Jets being a playoff team in 2006, 2009 and 2010. He also deserves a large share of the credit for the Jets missing the playoffs in 2007, 2008, and 2011. Since taking over as GM, the Jets have been a .500 or better team in 5 of 6 seasons but have only made the playoffs half of the time. Basically, you are getting a 8-8 to 10-6 team who could sneak into the playoffs depending on how strong the rest of the conference is. Mike Tannenbaum is going to field a competitive team but he hasn’t shown the ability to put together a roster good enough to be one of the NFL’s elite.

Zero division titles. Zero 12 win seasons yet three playoff berths and four playoff wins. Tannenbaum’s resume is an inconsistent one, as a closer look at this history reveals, a history that should provide some insight into what the Jets will do in the coming months:


Primary Additions

Draft Class – D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Nick Mangold, Eric Smith, Kellen Clemens, Anthony Schlegel, Brad Smith, Leon Washington, Drew Coleman, Titus Adams, Jason Pociask

Free Agency Andre Dyson, Matt Chatham, Brad Kassell, Kimo Von Oelhoffen, Tim Dwight, Anthony Clement, Trey Teague, Monsanto Pope, Wade Smith

Trade C.J. Mosley, Kevan Barlow, Sean Ryan, Patrick Ramsey,

Primary Subtractions

Released Kevin Mawae, Jason Fabini, Jay Fielder, Barry Gardner, Lance LeGree, Jerald Sowell, Harry Williams, Ty Law, Mark Brown,

Traded John Abraham, Brooks Bollinger

An active off-season in which Tannenbaum succeeded in digging the Jets out of salary cap hell (they were 25 million over the cap when he was promoted to GM) and retooling them by signing and trading for a large crop of mid to lower level free agents and putting together a productive draft. The John Abraham trade did net the Jets All-Pro center Nick Mangold, which makes it hard to argue with even though the Jets have never properly replaced Abraham as a pass rusher. Outside of Mangold, Tannenbaum had a good draft by pairing him with Ferguson and finding late round contributors in Brad Smith, Leon Washington, Drew Coleman, and Eric Smith. Most of the acquisitions contributed in some way, either as a starter or a key reserve to a 10-6 playoff team.

The negatives were missing on Kellen Clemens and Anthony Schlegel in round 2 and round 3, respectively. Teague never played but was a smart insurance signing because Mangold was an unproven rookie. Tim Dwight couldn’t stay healthy but was productive when on the field. Overall, I would say this was a very good off-season for Tannenbaum mostly because of how he salvaged their cap situation and put together enough role players to field a playoff caliber team. Also at the time the hiring of Eric Mangini looked like an incredibly savvy move.


Primary Additions

Draft ClassDarrelle Revis, David Harris, Chansi Stuckey, Jacob Bender

Free AgencyMichael Haynes, Marques Tuiasosopo, Andre Wadsworth, Wade Smith

Trade Thomas Jones

Primary Subtractions

Released – BJ Askew, Dave Ball, Rashad Washington

Traded – Pete Kendall

There was much less volume this year as Tannenbaum constantly preached keeping as much continuity from the previous year’s playoff team as possible. The draft emphasized quality over quantity and the trade ups for Darrelle Revis and David Harris remain arguably the two best moves Tannenbaum has made since taking over as GM. Despite a disappointing 2007 season, the Thomas Jones trade turned out to be a major success.

Unfortunately, Tannenbaum began a disturbing trend of mistreating veterans and overestimating his talent on the offensive line by refusing to bump Pete Kendall’s contract up and then eventually trading him. The trade sunk the Jets season, as replacement Adrien Clarke was awful. Tannenbaum compounded the mistake by keeping Anthony Clement for another year as the starting right tackle. Clement was adequate when supported by a strong guard like Kendall in 2006 but flamed out in year two with Clarke on the line with him. The weakness of Clarke and Clement led to Chad Pennington and Kellen Clemens getting beat up all season en route to a 4-12 year.

Without the Kendall trade, acquiring Revis, Harris, and Jones would have made for a great off-season but the trade knocks it down substantially.


Primary Additions

Draft ClassVernon Gholston, Dustin Keller, Dwight Lowery, Erik Ainge, Marcus Henry, Nate Garner

Free AgencyAlan Faneca, Calvin Pace, Damien Woody, Tony Richardson, Andre Woolfolk, Ty Law, Bubba Franks, Jesse Chatman

TradeBrett Favre, Kris Jenkins

Primary Subtractions

Released Erik Coleman, Anthony Clement, Andre Dyson, Justin McCariens, Chad Pennington

Traded Jonathan Vilma, Dewayne Robertson

Credit Tannenbaum for taking advantage of the cap space he cleared in 2006 to do everything in his power to improve on the previous year’s 4-12 team. In retrospect, Faneca and Woody stabilized the line in the upcoming years despite only playing 2 and 3 years with the team, respectively. Pace was overpaid but has been a good starter since joining the team. Jenkins was a beast for one year but couldn’t stay healthy after that. Favre…well we know the story there. Trading Vilma hasn’t looked like the smartest thing in the world and the draft was probably Tannenbaum’s worst.

It is difficult to evaluate this off-season. Tannenbaum did improve the team in the short term but at the same time didn’t build for the future by sinking so much money into veterans and having a weak draft. This extremely active off-season didn’t equal a playoff spot in 2008 but Woody, Faneca, Pace, Keller, and Richardson were big parts of a team that reached the AFC Championship game in 2009 and 2010 (with the exception of Faneca).

After this season, Eric Mangini was fired and replaced with Rex Ryan. Tannenbaum’s first attempt at hiring a coach found a guy who had a winning season two out of three years, made the playoffs once but never won a playoff game and only had a 23-25 career regular season record.

Coming tomorrow: Part 2, The Rex Ryan Years

How Will The New York Jets Play The Peyton Manning Hand?

The Jet Report explores how the Jets could approach Peyton Manning in the coming weeks

Not enough has been said out of Florham Park regarding Mark Sanchez, to change our minds about this. In seven days when the “play clock” runs out on the Colts who would owe Peyton Manning 28 million unless they release him, the Jets will be one of those teams who inquire about his services. Not just to grab a few headlines either. At first, they will try to do it subtly. It won’t work. Given their recent history, the Jets just don’t do subtle very well. On the field or off of it.

The Colts have to make a move on March 8th. If they don’t cut Manning loose, his 25 million dollar bonus kicks in. The number would be an insanely steep price to pay, when considering that QB Andrew Luck is slated to be selected first overall by Indy in the NFL Draft this April.

After the shock we all experience in seeing Manning actually let go dies down, the sharks will immediately hit the water smelling for blood.

Miami, looking to make a splash these days and in need of a starter, will claim they own the best chance to catch him. They could even be right. The Redskins and Daniel Snyder should be in the mix too because after all, an exorbitantly high priced big named star coming off of many surgeries will be available. It’s possible Peyton ends up as a Cardinal, paired with WR Larry Fitzgerald.

There will be other teams coming to the surface too. Recent reports from around the league support this belief.

The Jets? They will do more than just survey this situaton.

Because of the delicate nature of possibly having to fall back to Mark Sanchez should Manning sign elsewhere though, we expect the Jets to play it off early on. Posing as a club that is dipping it’s toes in the water just to “feel the temperature” of things.

How quickly however, could the Rex Ryan coach speak of “Mark’s still our guy” turn into “Mark was our guy,” should a crush on Peyton and the chance to sign him be too much for Jets owner Woody Johnson to resist?

Pretty quickly.

Is Manning the best move for the Jets right now? Given the legend’s health risk, age, and the addition of OC Tony Sparano to spearhead a “rushing first” attack on offense we’ll say no, but explain why in further detail another day.

Our focus for now is on how the Jets will play this hand.

We will guess that the Jets level of interest in Peyton is already more serious than just window shopping. Yet following our theory regarding the team hedging their bet to appear “Pro Sanchez” in case they lose the lottery, or learn that Manning is damaged goods, GM Mike Tannenbaum will try to employ the “stealth bomber” style.

One that calls for diving in and out of the water gathering “data” regarding Manning’s neck, cap solutions, and even Reggie Wayne, unknown to other GM’s and reporters like a Navy Seal. Tanny will do this by taking cover behind his go to tag line of doing his yearly “due diligence,” in the market. Claiming the club naturally has to look at every player and position, including Peyton Manning.

Signs of a clear interest by the Jets will become apparent however, after ESPN shows video highlights of Mr Laser Rocket Arm firing balls on a high school practice field, with Jets officials on hand. While Johnson is spotted that same night by Page Six with Archie Manning, having dinner on the West Side.

The Jets cover will have been blown. Then, look out. Can you imagine the back pages?

The Mannings May Own New York….Peyton and Eli?…Jets Trying to Steal Thunder from Super Bowl Champs.. Jets have lost faith in Sanchez. Manning-sanity.

Once that line of “covert” crosses over into “buyer” it will be tough to reel back in for any NFL club. Much less for the team that lost it’s cameo role as the top team in New York, in a matter of six winter weeks, and may want it right back. Thinking that the Manning THEY would be purchasing would be the same great one they last saw when he last played an NFL game. Against them in the 2010 playoffs.

For the Jets, the downside of a drama growing from a quiet inquiry into a media circus, is the lingering affect it could have on the guy who WILL steer the ship next season: Mark Sanchez.

A player whose confidence seems so adolescent at times, yet a guy who at 25, is still young. In need of nurturing, better coaching, and alot of emotional repairing. As opposed to further psychological damage that could be obtained from having to answer endless questions starting in July about his near exit OUT of New York.

Should Manning be pursued by the Jets yet end up elsewhere, Sanchez COULD take a lesson from Jets CB Antonio Cromartie. A player who after Nnamdi Asomugha signed with the Eagles after a maniacal post lockout chase by the Jets for the top free agent corner ended, harbored no visible ill will in playing temporary second fiddle. Cro stated instead that “it’s a business,” where teams have the right to do what is in their best interests to upgrade wherever they see fit.

As of now, with less than a week to go until the Colts press that red “detonate” button it’s all just speculation. For us, you, Manning, the Colts themselves, any NFL teams who covet him, and of course the Jets.

Gang Green could have avoided all of this Peyton talk that swims around them now, by declaring that “Mark Sanchez is the starter in 2012” with a stronger, more forceful tone since that final loss in Miami on New Years day. Instead they haven’t.

So what are we supposed to think? What many out there believe already. That the Manning sweepstakes may very well include the team from New York that doesn’t own one yet.

TOJ New York Jets Free Agency Primer 2.0

TOJ breaks down how the New York Jets could approach free agency as March 13th draws closer

As March 13th gets closer, New York Jets fans are starting to feel a rush of anxiety. They just watched their hyped team flame out at 8-8, while the New York Giants threw salt in the wound with yet another Super Bowl victory. Mike Tannenbaum is out in front of the media saying things like “Wayne Hunter is coming back as the starting right tackle” and the team won’t be taking an overly aggressive approach to free agency…take a breath everybody, let’s go over what we know as of right now –

We know Mike Tannenbaum gives no valuable information to the media. If a player is under contract, Tannenbaum expects him back in the same role next year. If a player is a free agent, the Jets will review their options and make the best decision for the franchise. This is all company line BS. Tannenbaum isn’t giving anything away. The Jets don’t have a ton of money to spend but with a few more maneuvers, will have enough to make a reasonable splash staring March 13th.

Quarterback – The Jets are going to do their due diligence on Peyton Manning, like nearly every team in the NFL will. If they feel like they have a real shot, they will go after him hard with no regard for Mark Sanchez’s feelings. I still say this has about a 5% chance of happening but the Jets will be at the top of the Manning rumor mill under he signs elsewhere. As expected, Chad Henne has also been linked to the Jets as a logical backup to Mark Sanchez. If I was gambling man, I’d put my money on Henne being in New York next year and Manning being in Arizona.

Running Back – No chatter here. It would serve the Jets well to add a low cost veteran but that seems like the type of move that won’t happen until closer to training camp. Joe McKnight is going to be talked up a ton this off-season as a big part of the Jets plans and Bilal Powell will also be hyped as somebody who will receive more of an opportunity.

Wide Receiver – A position of constant debate on Twitter among Jets fans. The impression that I am receiving is that the Jets won’t have enough money to spend on Pierre Garcon or Robert Meachem. If they spend it will be on the third tier of free agent wide receivers, like Early Doucet or Braylon Edwards. There was a Daily News report yesterday that the Jets had interest in bring #17 back if he was “healthy and the price was right” aka on a veteran minimum deal with some incentives attached. The Jets expressing interest in Edwards shows the type of money they are looking to spend at WR this off-season…not much.

Edwards has the potential to give a high return on investment. If you are going cheap at receiver, who would you expect more from than Edwards who has proven he can be productive with Mark Sanchez in New York? What I am saying if there is one receiver the Jets are getting for the veteran’s minimum this off-season that can produce 60 catches, 750 yards, and 6 touchdown, it is Edwards.

Tight End – I still believe if Anthony Fasano gets cut he ends up in New York. Don’t be surprised if the Jets spend more on him than they do on a wide receiver in free agency.

Offensive Line – I really hope Mike Tannenbaum hasn’t talked himself into a Wayne Hunter/Vladmir Ducasse battle for right tackle but I wouldn’t rule it out completely. At this point, I still expect some type of veteran to be brought in for insurance but the market isn’t full of quality options. Vernon Carey makes sense but might end up costing more than the Jets want to spend.

Defensive Line – I am confident Tannenbaum gets Sione Pouha locked down before free agency starts.

Linebacker – Jarrett Johnson is the first name that has been linked to the Jets with any kind of mainstream media report. It makes sense, as he is familiar with Rex’s system and could be a veteran stopgap to be paired with a first round pick at outside linebacker. Rex Ryan needs to drop the “I can get a pass rush from anybody” attitude and the Jets need to get a player who can get double digit sacks in a season. If there is an aggressive approach in the draft, pass rushing outside linebacker needs to be the position that is targeted.

Secondary – There is a crop of talented safeties out there and if the Jets are going to spend money at a position, than why not here? You are trying to beat a team that features Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez out for the your division, remember? Tyvon Branch, Reggie Nelson, LaRon Landry and Michael Griffin are all out there.

New York Jets Ready To Move On From Bart Scott

Bart Scott’s time with the New York Jets appears to be coming to an end

It is being reported today that the New York Jets have given inside linebacker Bart Scott permission to seek a trade. There are rumors a handful of teams are interested, as long as the compensation is some type of food product or memorabilia. What you thought teams would be lining up to hand out players or picks to pay Scott 4.2 million guaranteed next year? Unfortunately that is a little high for a slow linebacker who can’t be on the field for passing downs…especially in a predominantly passing game.

The only way the Jets might receive even a late round pick is if Scott restructures his contract…in the end it is more likely that he will be cut. The cap hit will be hard to take but it is a necessary move in retooling this defense into a quicker, more versatile unit. I wouldn’t expect the Jets to find a replacement in free agency. Instead don’t be surprised to see them spend a mid-round draft pick on a inside linebacker and give Josh Mauga a larger role. It won’t be a popular move but adding a premium inside linebacker, alongside finding a outside linebacker, two safeties, a wide receiver, and right tackle just might not happen.

At least Bart Scott left us with this –