The New York Jets showed general manager Mike Maccagnan the door on Wednesday. CEO Christopher Johnson now wants a strategic thinker, which means he’s like every other boss in the world. It took until Friday for the Peyton Manning whispers started swirling enough to show up on radar.
“Rumors are flying within league circles that the Jets may make a run at the future Hall of Fame quarterback who has periodically been linked to NFL management possibilities. And Gase, who worked with Manning in Denver, possibly would be one of the few guys who could draw Manning back into football.”
Manning is very much the white whale in both broadcasting and front-office circles. He’s been uninterested in all advances since retiring and has plenty of financial buffer to wait for the perfect opportunity.
Eventually that will come along. Is it in New York, with the notoriously frustrating Jets? Maybe. Who knows.
Manning did have grand visions of playing with the franchise when he was in college. Gang Green could have had him had they been more upfront with commitment. It’s also, quite obviously, the biggest market with access to business and entertainment opportunities galore.
There’s also an existing relationship with Adam Gase, who clearly has grasped significant behind-the-scenes control. On the field, the team has a young quarterback to develop in Sam Darnold that could be ascendent as Tom Brady’s career nears an end.
So there’s a chance. Still wouldn’t bet on it.