Peyton to the Broncos: To be honest, I saw Manning ending up with the Tennes-see Titans. Just think about it. Peyton has a house in Tennessee, he played for Ten-nessee in college and he would have one of the league’s best O-Lines and RBs in Chris Johnson, all in a division he was familiar with. Oh, and he’d get to stick it to the Colts twice a year. I mean, maybe all of that just makes too much sense.
Denver is far from chopped liver though. While they may have only been truly domi-nant in their run game last year, where one of the league’s best run-blocking O-Lines made an all-pro rusher out of a seemingly over-the-hill Willis McGahee, there is hope for the development of the pass game with WR Demaryius Thomas being on the verge of breaking through as a star. If they can give Peyton another weapon or two through free agency or the draft, the Broncos go from a below-average, extremely one-dimensional offense, to one of the AFC’s most potent at-tacks. As for the other side of the ball, the Broncos showed upside but were on the whole inconsistent and were often bailed out by some extremely timely turnovers by opponents. That said, young pieces like Von Miller continue to progress and if they can get a full season out of Elvis Dumervil, all of a sudden they are no worse than above aver-age on defense. It is rare that one player can make a fringe playoff contender a titan of the league, but Peyton Manning could have just that effect. The move couldn’t make more sense for the Broncos because their window to be a Super Bowl contender is now – in a completely wide-open AFC. Also, this is the one scenario where they can justify ending their uncertain marriage with Tim Tebow, a player whose limitations stood in the way of this team becoming a real contender.
Mario Williams to the Bills: Remember how giddy Bills fans were after they got off to a 5-2 start last year and Ryan Fitzpatrick forgot for seven games that he was Ryan Fitz-patrick? Sure, the Bills went back to their old selves from there, extending and overpaying Fitzpatrick quickly and impulsively, only to see him have a miserable second half (they went 1-8 the rest of the way). That said, Bills fans are ready to forget all of that after their team beat the odds to score the most cov-eted defensive free agent on the market this year, and for a long time. Yes, they did have to give him the most guaranteed money for a defensive player in history ($50 million), but when you’re the Bills, you have to over-pay a little to have a chance. Frankly, it’s go-ing to be worth it because they were unable to put pressure on anyone not named Tim Tebow last year and now that gaping hole in their defense is instantly addressed. Ma-rio Williams is not going to make the Bills a playoff team instantly, but he’s only just hitting his peak at age 27, so this is a move as much about now as a few years down the road. If Mario succeeds and doesn’t go stir crazy in Buffalo (see the Mayne Event fea-turing Marshawn Lynch from a few years back), Fitzpatrick plays to his potential as an above-average NFL starting quarterback and Stevie Johnson and CJ Spiller continue to mature, the future in Buffalo isn’t so grim. Just the fact that a marquis free agent with his complete and total choice of destinations chose to go to Buffalo is a complete and to-tal victory for the Bills and their fans. I love the move for the Bills.
Tebowmania Comes to NY After the Jets Extend Sanchez: I just outlined two very well calculated, rational moves that remind us that the GMs our favorite teams pay millions of dollars actually get it right once in a while. That brings us to our boy Mike Tannenbaum, the GM of the Jets, who decided to reward Mark Sanchez with a necessary and deserved contract extension. With his contract coming up at the end of a monster year, it was all but a forgone con-clusion that the Jets would make a move to extend Sanchez and make him the face of the franchise for years to come. Wait, Sanchez’s contract wasn’t up, the Jets and Sanchez fin-ished out one of the more embarrassing sea-sons in recent memory and Peyton Manning was on the market? Um, good one, Mike. Apparently the idea was to give Sanchez a show of faith and a deserved reward for a “body of work over the last three seasons.”
Well, if you like losing AFC champion-ships, untimely interceptions and a 73.2 ca-reer QB rating, then Sanchez is your man. And because all of that made so much sense, it was of course no surprise when the Jets traded a fourth and a sixth-round pick for none other than Tim Tebow, despite just bringing in Drew Stanton to fill the backup vacancy created by the departure of Mark Brunell. So first you extend Sanchez to try to reaffirm his status as your franchise quar-terback, and then you bring in Tebow as a situational and wildcat guy? It’s nice and all that the Jets are thinking the move is going to help restore sanity to their locker room and improve their public image, but the Jets are making a vast oversight here. What if Sanchez gets off to a slow start and the Jets continue to struggle and Tebow is just chilling on the bench?
Jets fans are far from in love with Sanchez and could not care less that the team just gave him this silly extension. You know for a fact that they’d be clamoring for Tebow, and everyone saw how that played out for Kyle Orton and the Broncos last year. It’s hard to believe that there isn’t going to be some serious drama when Tebow is just sit-ting on the bench once Sanchez hits an in-evitable rough patch. It’s clear the Jets were looking to combat the media circus atmo-sphere that they dealt with at the end of last season but, by bringing in Tebow, they’ve just set themselves up for an even worse disaster. Have fun being the number-two team in New York City for the next decade, Jets fans!
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