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Jets Owner Woody Johnson: Team ‘Passed On’ Peyton Manning

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Peyton Manning (credit: Joey Foley/Getty Images), Mark Sanchez (credit: Rich Schultz /Getty Images)

Peyton Manning (credit: Joey Foley/Getty Images), Mark Sanchez (credit: Rich Schultz /Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Jets owner Woody Johnson says fans expect his team to “look at every opportunity.”

So they explored signing Peyton Manning — and ultimately decided to stick with quarterback Mark Sanchez.

Johnson told Fox Business Network on Tuesday night that the Jets “passed on” Manning, a free agent after the Indianapolis Colts released him last week. The owner said they instead “looked at the body of work of Sanchez and wanted to put our faith in him.”

“Mark is a very confident guy, but not confident to a fault,” Johnson said. “I think he’s going to be an excellent leader. I think we’ll see a so-called growth spurt this year. I think he’ll be very good with Tony’s offense.”

New York signed Sanchez, who had two years remaining on his deal, to a three-year extension worth $40.5 million last Friday. The Jets, meanwhile, were never really in the Manning sweepstakes.

“We passed on him,” Johnson said. “Sanchez is not leaving. We’ve got a pretty good tether. We’ve got five years. We like Mark.”

Manning has been busy. After meeting with Arizona, Denver and a small contingent from Miami, the mega free agent will next sit down with the Tennessee Titans.

Johnson said if the four-time NFL MVP is healthy, he’ll be just fine.

“Peyton is maybe the best quarterback ever that played the game,” he said. “If he can throw and if he feels comfortable in the pocket, I think he’ll be great.”

Do you think New York made the right move with Sanchez’s big-money extension? Sound off in the comments below…

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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