LaDainian Tomlinson is an outsider on the Jets these days, but that doesn’t mean he lacks an insider’s perspective as to what the Jets players are thinking.
And as the team is said to be interested in Peyton Manning — with the Daily News reporting late Wednesday that the Jets have reached out — Tomlinson said that move would mean the end of Mark Sanchez in New Jersey.
Tomlinson told NFL Network on Wednesday that if the Jets acquire Manning, Sanchez would ask for his release.
“In my opinion, I don’t know if he’d handle it well,” Tomlinson said. “I think he’d probably go in and maybe ask to be released. Rightfully so, he would be a little mad. That’s all a part of it. At the same time, if he could grow up a little bit and try to learn from somebody like Peyton Manning, then maybe in a couple years, if they did decide to go with Manning, he could learn from that and then also be the (starter) again.”
Tomlinson was then asked the next logical question — do the Jets want Manning?
“I think the players want to win, that’s the first thing,” he answered.
It’s logical that Sanchez wouldn’t stick around to keep a seat warm after taking the Jets to the playoffs in two of his first three seasons.
For the record, Tomlinson believes the Jets are a good fit for Manning, given the talent on offense and the strength of the running game and offensive line. Not only does he think the quarterback and coach Rex Ryan could co-exist, he wouldn’t shy away from returning to the Jets if Manning were to join Gang Green.
“Rex really doesn’t deal with the offense too much, he’s a defensive guy,” Tomlinson said. “Manning would be able to have most of the say-so on the offensive side of the ball. Those two wouldn’t clash heads.”
Whether or not it’s realistic that Manning would want to play in the same market as his brother, though, is another story.
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