The enemy of my enemy is my friend. That statement is pure and simple the reason why the New York Jets must move Heaven and Earth to sign Peyton Manning to lead their embattled offense in 2012. To be the best, you have to beat the best and for the last 12 years (aka; the Belichick era) the New England Patriots have been the best team in the AFC east. In ranking the names of individuals who despise the Patriots, one would be hard pressed to not have Rex Ryan and Peyton Manning at the top of that list.
Since the year 2000 the Patriots have won 9 division titles, made 5 trips to the super bowl and have won 3 championships. In that same time span the New York Jets would win one division title (2002), made 5 trips to the playoffs and not appeared in a single super bowl. Long story short, the New York Jets must find a way to consistently beat the hated Patriots and they cannot accomplish this with their current roster. Since the arrival of Rex Ryan prior to the 2009 season, the Jets have made it to the AFC championship game twice, losing both times, but appearing to be an ascending threat to the Patriots. The future seemed bright in New York with a trash talking head coach, a rising young star at quarterback and a stifling defense. The Jets managed to upset New England in the 2010 playoffs and folks from New York were already booking flights to Indianapolis for the 2011/2012 super bowl. In one short year all that has changed dramatically (is there any other way things change in the Big Apple?). After an underwhelming 8-8 record and no trip to the post season, the Jets are a team in chaos. Reports of infighting between Sanchez and his receivers culminated with a heated shouting match between the quarterback and Santonio Holmes during a meeting. Holmes would be pulled from the field and benched during the season finale against Miami and accused by some team mates of quitting on the team. Rex Ryan came in to New York and created a team of chest pounding, brash talking individuals who kicked butt and took names, and New Yorkers loved their Jets. Once the losses began mounting last season, the players seemed to turn the trash talking on one another. Future hall of famer Ladanian Tomlinson described the locker room as follows "It is as bad as I have ever been around" For some perspective on that statement, Tomlinson has 'been around' the NFL for 11 seasons. Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum are in full damage control mode and have replaced offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer with former Dolphin head coach Tony Sparano. The fact that Sparano is best known for his abilities to coach the offensive line and improve a team's rushing attack should sit nicely with Santonio Holmes. The Jets are attempting to treat deep wounds with band aids when major surgery is required. The one man who can perform this operation is soon to be ex Colt Peyton Manning.
There is very little chance that Jim Irsay and the Colts are going to pay Manning the 28 million dollar bonus that is due March 8th without concrete proof that Peyton can even suit up for the 2012 season. After their recent public verbal spat, there is even less chance that Manning will push back the due date of the bonus or agree to restructure his deal. Manning and his agent Tom Condon did not just throw darts at a calendar in negotiating the due date of the March bonus. By negotiating an early March date (before the draft and more importantly, free agency) Manning finds himself sitting in the proverbial cat bird seat. He will either be paid a huge sum of money or given his outright release with the entire off season to catch on with and get accustomed to a new team. The absolutely best choice for this new team is the New York Jets. It is a moot point at this juncture to compare Peyton Manning and his career accomplishments with those of Mark Sanchez . Suffice to say that Sanchez has been a fine game manager in the three seasons; he has led the Jets and will make a fine number two quarterback behind Manning.
It has been said that familiarity breeds contempt, and one thing Peyton has plenty of familiarity with is the New England Patriots and Bill Belichick. A career mark of 6 wins and 9 losses to 'the hoodie' and his team has to be eating at a competitor like Manning on a daily basis. The chance to team up with Rex Ryan and the New York Jets is exactly the situation that Peyton could thrive in. One of the few things Manning could not consistently rely on in his time in Indianapolis was the Colts having a dominant defense. Peyton, say hello to Darrelle Revis , Bart Scott, David Harris, Muhammad Wilkerson and the rest of the New York Jet defense. With Manning under center, the Jets defense can become even more aggressive knowing that they have an all time great at the quarterback position and take more chances than they were apt to with Sanchez 'managing' a game. Manning will also be able to put the opposing defense on their heels with the actual threat of an aerial attack, which in turn will only benefit Shonn Greene and the New York ground game. Jets fans have been anxiously waiting for Greene to live up to his potential and the addition of Manning will speed up that process. What Peyton Manning can bring to the Jets besides his almost 400 regular season touchdown passes and over 54,000 yards through the air is his leadership and burning desire to win another championship. Peyton can smile and talk about how happy he is for Eli and his second super bowl victory, but it has to be burning him up inside that his little brother has more titles than he does. The New York Jets need a leader for their offense and they cannot manufacture one out of Sanchez no matter how they may try. You are either a leader of men or you are not. Peyton Manning is a leader of men and there is no chance Santonio Holmes, or any other Jets offensive player could question that leadership. Manning has the ability to make average receivers very good and good receivers great. New York may not bring back Plaxico Burress and with Manning at the helm they can target some of the lesser names on the free agent market with the knowledge that number 18 will throwing them the ball.
Peyton Manning does not have the time left in his career to go through a rebuilding process with the Colts or sign with a Dolphins team that 'could' be better. Manning is looking to win it all, and win it all now. The New York Jets do not have the time to wait and see if Mark Sanchez can be their quarterback of the future. The future is now and the New York Jets want to win it all, and win it all right now. Many people are speculating about a number of possible locations for Peyton Manning to play in 2012, and there is only one true destination for the future hall of famer. If the New England Patriots are to be unseated as the leaders of the AFC east division the New York Jets must sign Peyton Manning.