Peyton Manning is not going to sign with the New England Patriots.
I can't believe I even have to write this article today.
New England is apparently in need of a (fourth string? Fifth string?) backup quarterback now that Jimmy Garoppolo is slated to likely miss at least Thursday's game against the Houston Texans and possibly more. Right now, the Patriots depth chart looks like this:
- Jacoby Brissett
- Julian Edelman
- Steve from Accounting
However, in spite of all that, The Patriots apparently have no plans to bring in another QB, per Adam Schefter:
Patriots have no plans at this time to bring in or sign another QB before Thursday game vs Houston, per sources. https://t.co/orcZhzZY1N— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 19, 2016
That said, you never know with this team, so don't be overly surprised if the Patriots do in fact bring in a veteran QB who either somewhat knows the system or will be able to pick it up quickly in case Brissett ends up going down this Thursday. Matt Flynn is a name that has been tossed around, along with Ryan Lindley, and even Tim Tebow.
That veteran free agent will not, however, be Manning.
There are already a ton of hot takes out there breaking down why they should give him a call; after all, he can pick the system up quickly, it's only for a few weeks, and just think of the storylines! To be fair, there are also plenty of takes out there illustrating why the Patriots won't be knocking on Manning's door anytime soon, so the coverage isn't all one-sided. But all of the "no Manning" folks are missing the obvious truth surrounding why signing Manning would be one of the worst decisions the Patriots have ever made.
It isn't because Manning isn't good anymore. It's not because he hasn't thrown a solid ball in well over a year by this point. It has nothing to do with the fact that he's likely making more money endorsing anything and everything under the planet than he would playing football and has no desire to come back. It's not because he was one of the rare players to go out on top, and coming back to fumble and lame duck his way through a few games would dampen that glory a bit. It doesn't matter that it would only be for two weeks. That Manning in a Patriots uniform would make literally every head on either side of the Brady/Manning rivalry explode, and it's a sight that you can't unsee is completely irrelevant. None of that has anything to do with why the Patriots won't be calling Peyton Manning to see if he can fill in.
What does matter, however, is the virtual certainty that if Peyton Manning were to sign with the New England Patriots, all of a sudden Roger Goodell would somehow find new evidence relating to the HGH scandal that we all thought had been officially put to bed and he would reopen the investigation. After looking at postal records, post-surgery performance, and Manning's forehead, he would retroactively find Manning guilty, declare that it was more probable than not the Patriots were at least generally aware that a player they were looking to sign might have possibly been involved in illicit performance enhancing drugs, suspend Manning for four games. He would then dock the Patriots a first, third, sixth, 2018 second, and 2019 fourth round draft pick. All for a few games in which Brissett is probably the better option anyway? No thanks.
So let's all put this nonsense to bed right now. New England can't afford to lose all those draft picks over a few games. Let's just bring in Doug Flutie and be done with it.