There seems to be a question that is being asked around town: "Should the Jacksonville Jaguars Go After Peyton Manning?" Sure, you can say that bringing in Manning would create excitement in Jacksonville about the team (Man, I am really starting to get sick of hearing that), but going after him would probably do more harm than good for this team.
1. Manning Probably Won't Perform Up to Expectations
Let's face it, people. Peyton Manning is turning 36 years old and he is coming off of three recent neck surgeries. He won't be the same as he was 3 or 4 years ago. Plus, the effects of Manning's surgeries are yet to be seen. Will his reaction time be sufficient? Can he swivel his head from side to side without much effort? Can he still throw the ball into small windows with a tight spiral?
In terms of neurology, what we consider simple, such as throwing a football with a decent spiral, is actually quite complicated. The biggest question that we must ask is if his brain will be able to send signals to his muscles properly. One single misfire of a signal could mean the difference between a 30 yard completion and an easily intercepted ball. Sure, he may make a few nice throws during a physical exam and during practice, but what's going to happen when he is under duress and has to get that ball out immediately? We just don't know. And with him being on the wrong side of 30, chances are that the result won't be great.
2. The Money Could Be Better Spent
Manning has recently said that he is willing to sign an incentive-based contract, which is one of the reasons why people are clamoring for the Jags to go get Manning. However, many of us get so pulled in by the hype train that we forget one of the most important questions: Why would Peyton Manning want to come to Jacksonville? Spare me on the fact that we have nice beaches, weather, and golf courses as well as no income tax. Are the Jaguars a bonafide Championship contender? No. Do they currently have a decent amount of offensive weapons? No. Does Manning have any personal connection to Jacksonville or the Jaguars other than being one of his perennial punching bag for the past decade or so? No. Therefore, the Jags are going to have to put something extra on the table to entice him to come here. Rather than trying to sweeten the deal, why not addresses the main problem on this team at wide receiver. It would be nice for Blaine Gabbert or Manning or whomever else is brought in, to have a few decent targets to throw to.
3. Blaine Gabbert Deserves His Fair Shot
The forgotten guy in all of this is Blaine Gabbert who just trekked through 15 games of inept coaching, horrid receiver play, and a turnstile on the right side of his line as well as the usual growing pains of being a rookie in the NFL. You don't draft someone at 10th overall to take a seat on the bench in their second year. Fortunately, Guy Whimper is probably gone and the coaching staff has been revamped, so why not give the guy some targets to throw to? After all, if you’re just going to replace him with a veteran, what was the point of this major overhaul in the coaching staff with coaches that have a history of developing QBs? Between the offensive coordinator and the QB coach, there's 60 years of combined experience. It's kinda pointless to go through all of that, just to take an old free agent with a bunch of question marks surrounding him.
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