Last week, rumors emerged linking Peyton Manning to the vacant Jets GM job. The Jets, who fired former general manager Mike Maccagnan last Wednesday, need someone to run their front office and let Adam Gase focus solely on coaching. Manning would probably be a good fit with his former coach, the one who helped design the offense that gave Manning the record for most touchdown passes in a season. But, unfortunately for Jets fans, there’s simply no way Manning takes this particular gig.
Manning has already turned down several requests to become a broadcaster for Monday Night Football, and the only foray he’s made back into the game of football since retirement is his in-progress Peyton’s Places series with ESPN. He clearly doesn’t have any desire to dive back into the game of football on a full-time basis, much less take on the 24/7/365 responsibilities of an NFL GM. Whether or not he’d be good at it is another discussion entirely, but everything he’s done since retiring seems to indicate he’s more than happy to kick back and relax during his retirement.
Now, that could certainly change. It’s only been two years, and retired athletes tend to get antsy with all the time they have on their hands. But even if Manning decided he wanted to get back in the game, why on earth would he go to the Jets? Gase is the only connection that would make the union feasible. Otherwise, it’s not an attractive position. Christopher Johnson wants to be a hands-on owner, but has made very few good decisions since he took over for his father in 2017. The team has a young quarterback with potential and a few foundational pieces on defense, but they threw a boatload of money at Le’Veon Bell, against the wishes of their new head coach. That definitely sounds like a recipe for a healthy and successful team right there.
All hope is not yet lost for the New York Jets. But Manning is a pipe dream. Even if he had exhibited a desire to return to the NFL in that capacity, there’s little reason to think he’d be interested in helping redeem the franchise. Their recent track record speaks for itself, and while they seem to have a solid young core to build on, there’s little to suggest from both the Jets and Gase’s history that they’ll do so successfully. The right man for the job is out there, but it is not Peyton Manning.