The cool thing to do on the internet these days is to start rumors that make no sense or have no chance of happening, so I will give my best college try here and start and then end this rumor. Okay so maybe I won’t be starting the Peyton Manning-to-Jacksonville rumors, but I certainly would like to end them. I have prepared three arguments that I feel should effectively eliminate Jacksonville from possible Manning destinations, check them out after the jump!
It should be very easy for Jaguars fans to want a knee-jerk move in the passing game, all you have to do is look at the league stats to justify it. The Jaguars finished dead last in passing, coming in with a cool 2,510 yards on the season or 156.9/game. The Jaguars were nearly 200 yards worse than Tim Tebow and the Broncos, ouch. I think every Jaguars fan knows about the passing game, or lack thereof, but to put this into perspective — the Saints led the league in passing with 5,505 yards.
So a team that finished dead last in passing should find a new quarterback right? They should bring in a future Hall of Famer right? Wrong and wrong. Here are my three reasons why the Jaguars should not go after Manning.
The first reason is a no brainer, the NFL lockout. The lockout shortened the off-season, which in turn affected everyone from top to bottom. Not only did players have to fit months of conditioning into just a couple of weeks, but the teams’ training facilities could not be utilized. More than that, Blaine Gabbert did not go into the season on top of the depth chart, David Garrard did. Gabbert was the Jags long-term fix, not short-term.
Once the Jaguars traded up in the draft to take Gabbert, Garrard’s days in Jacksonville were numbered. His release wasn’t much of a surprise, the timing was. So when you start a season immediately turning to your backup, you’re going to be in for a rough ride. Watching Gabbert play this season wasn’t fun at times, but he had moments where you saw what he could be. You have to be excited to see what this kid will do next season after a full off-season of workouts, training camp, and pre-season.
Last time I checked, Peyton Manning still collects paychecks from the Indianapolis Colts. Until Colts owner Jim Irsay pulls the plug on him, the rumors will remain just that — a rumor. As it stands right now Irsay will wait until the last possible day to make a decison, the last possible day just so happens to be March 8th. On this day Manning is owed a $28 million roster bonus. The rumors will swirl until March, but the Colts face a tough decision.
Let’s say hypothetically the Colts do in fact cut Manning, what kind of message would that send to Gabbert if the Jaguars sign him? I get the reasoning behind adding him: “We would be instant playoff contenders.” “Talk about selling tickets, Tebow? Yeah right, we have Manning.” “I really don’t understand Jaguars fans, do you want to win?” These are all actual comments on a Jaguars website.
Let’s say Manning can still play, it would be great short-term for the Jaguars, horrible long-term. The fact of the matter is you have to give the kid sometime to play, to learn the game on his own. If the Jaguars bring in Manning that would destroy any confidence Gabbert had. The message that would be sent to Gabbert would be something like: “We like you and all man, but not right now. We found someone better, but once he’s done you’re totally our guy!”
I hope these rumors disappear fast and fans will concentrate their feelings on players we actually should add, perhaps starting with players that can catch the ball. Having a number one starting receiver would solve a lot of problems. Sometimes a knee-jerk reaction isn’t what’s needed, common sense usually is needed. One of the last knee-jerk reaction’s the Jaguars made, David Garrard found himself with a $60 million contract.
What do YOU think? Would Peyton Manning in a Jaguars uniform solve our problems or would it be a bad move?
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