NFL Truths: Break bank for Manning

Dear Jason:

Remember when you thought the NBA might threaten the NFL’s stranglehold on the American sporting public for a few months? Yeah, that was before Bountygate, before Peyton visited Elway, before the Redskins traded everything for Robert Griffin III. Please write an NFL Truths column and take my mind off ‘Melo and Amar’e.



Here is your free-agency version of the NFL Truths:

10. Jim Harbaugh is smarter than Bill Belichick, Brad Childress and Jeff Fisher — Randy Moss’ past three coaches?

The 49ers are going to get more out of Moss than the Patriots, Vikings and Titans did in 2010?

In the words of Dennis Green: Randy Moss isn’t who we thought he was? Sitting out a year has rejuvenated the wide receiver who was absolutely worthless when last we saw him on the football field? At age 35, Moss is now going to miraculously return to his record-setting 2007 form?

I’m not buying it. Harbaugh’s ego has talked him into a mistake. Moss never loved football. He plays the game because he’s good at it and it pays well. That’s not enough motivation once you push past age 30. You can’t survive on sheer talent once you reach a certain age. Your brain won’t let you fake it.

Peyton Manning, Ray Lewis, Tom Brady, etc., love football. They actually would play for free.

Harbaugh loves the game. I don’t understand why he would bring someone like Moss into his locker room. The 49ers won big last year partially because Harbaugh’s passion inspired the entire roster. Randy Moss can’t be inspired. If there’s no love, there’s no inspiration.

9. If the definition of insanity is repeatedly doing the same thing and expecting different results, Redskins owner Daniel Snyder is the craziest man on the planet.

How many offseason Lombardi Trophies has Snyder won throughout his illustrious career? He’s built an offseason dynasty signing big-name free agents, landing big-name coaches and creating excitement.

Snyder is now orchestrating the greatest youth movement in the history of NFL offseasons. He approved a blockbuster trade to get Robert Griffin III in the draft. And now Snyder has signed two young receivers — Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan — for RG3 to throw to.

Snyder is completely fearless.

I wish Snyder owned my favorite football team. Seriously. What he does doesn’t work, but at least I know he’s trying to win a championship. Snyder is the reason I’ve never believed in the NFL salary cap. There’s the cap and then there’s the amount of money an owner is willing to spend in cash (signing bonuses/guaranteed money). Snyder spends cash and makes a mockery of the salary cap.

Roger Goodell’s docking of Washington’s cap space won’t stop Snyder from signing whomever he likes.

8. The Chicago Bears gave up two third-round picks for Brandon Marshall just days after the receiver was allegedly involved in a nightclub altercation that left a woman with a black eye.

Marshall claims he was not involved in the fight and definitely didn’t throw the punch that hurt the woman. He says his wife was injured and hospitalized.

Yep, Marshall was out club-hopping with the same wife who was arrested last year for stabbing him. The charges against Michi Nogami-Marshall were later dropped. It was all just a big misunderstanding. So were most of Marshall’s other previous law-enforcement run-ins, which include his involvement in a nightclub flight that precipitated the drive-by shooting that killed former teammate Darrent Williams.

Lovie Smith and the Bears are not afraid of Brandon Marshall. How about the rest of Chicago?

7. Rex Ryan and the New York Jets doubled-down on quarterback Mark Sanchez, giving the underachieving quarterback a contract extension.

Does anyone remember when Pete Carroll complained about Sanchez leaving USC after just one season as the starting quarterback? Carroll pointed out that the best NFL quarterbacks usually spend multiple seasons as a collegiate starter before entering the professional ranks.

It appears Carroll and Sanchez were both right. Leaving Southern Cal early has paid off financially in a big way for Sanchez. But he was clearly underprepared to be a franchise quarterback. He lacks confidence in his decision-making. Sanchez struggles to pull the trigger.

6. Tampa Bay gave receiver Vincent Jackson a five-year, $55 million contract. Jackson’s resume includes two DUI arrests, a nasty 2010 contract dispute, two Pro Bowls and three 1,000-yard seasons.

The Bucs had no choice. Quarterback Josh Freeman had a horrific 2011 season. He needed a big go-to receiver.

5. Based on the moves listed above, is it easier to understand why a half-dozen teams are fighting for the right to give Peyton Manning a new $100 million contract?

I began the offseason thinking a team would be crazy to offer Manning a significant contract. Jim Irsay gave Manning a $26 million thank-you note last season. Manning never played. He wasn’t healthy when he signed the new contract. If his name were Deion Sanders, people would think Manning hustled the Colts out of $26 million.

Manning has had four neck surgeries. So far, he hasn’t worked out for any teams. There’s a strategically leaked, grainy videotape purporting to be proof of Manning’s good health circulating the Internet and ESPN airwaves. The team with the most information about Manning’s health (the Colts) let him walk.

Yep, I was very suspicious a week or two ago.

Now? Not so much. The NFL is a crazy, desperate league. Randy Moss just got a new job! Mark Sanchez got a new contract! The Bears just went all-in with a receiver who appears to have some really serious domestic-violence issues!

Why not give Manning $100 million? It’s only money.

4. Anyone find it interesting, as it relates to Peyton Manning, that Reggie Wayne re-signed with the Colts and Pierre Garcon signed with the Redskins?

If Wayne and Garcon thought Manning was healthy, wouldn’t they have pumped the brakes and waited to see where No. 18 landed before taking deals?

Maybe I’m reaching. You have to take the money on the table. But Wayne’s decision to re-sign with the Colts is a red flag. Again, the Colts have the most information about Manning’s health. I wonder what Irsay told Wayne about Manning’s future.

3. I’m surprised and disappointed that Manning, according to reports, isn’t considering my Kansas City Chiefs.

Word is Manning doesn’t believe he and Chiefs general manager Scott “Egoli” Pioli could coexist. Egoli is a meddlesome, mediocre control freak. Manning is a successful control freak. On paper, it’s a bad mix.

In reality, I think the Chiefs would be a perfect landing spot for Manning. Egoli is damaged goods. His messy divorce from Todd Haley exposed Egoli’s insecure leadership methods. Peter King and Michael Holley are the only people left buying the Egoli-genius narrative.

Egoli needs Manning. The struggling GM would get out of Manning’s way in Kansas City. Head coach Romeo Crennel could serve as a poor man’s Tony Dungy. Romeo would concentrate on Kansas City’s defense and leave Manning to run the offense.

If running back Jamaal Charles and tight end Tony Moeaki return healthy, the Chiefs could field a potent offense.

Manning should consider the Chiefs.

2. Watching the Heat lose to the Orlando Magic on Tuesday night was the first time all season I thought Miami could lose to the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference finals.

The Heat’s 2-minute offense is going to cost them in a close playoff series. I know I’m stating the obvious, but there is something absolutely insane about the best player in basketball (LeBron James) repeatedly standing in a corner watching Dwyane Wade go one-on-one down the stretch.

I’m not knocking Wade. It’s just bizarre that the Heat don’t have better late-game strategy than isolation sets for Wade and James. I’m not blaming coach Erik Spoelstra. The problem is Wade and James believe one-on-one isolations are good offense.

1. Does Peyton Manning’s destruction of Tebowmania in Denver say something about phony religious beliefs?

I honestly don’t have an answer. And it might be a bad question. But I’d love to hear your thoughts. Email me at