It’s easy to make fun of the Jets constant inability to find an answer at quarterback.
But with Manning working out at the Jets facility, it’s worth remembering that he could have been theirs, with the first pick in the 1997 NFL Draft, if he hadn’t decided to stay another year at Tennessee.
“I kind of laugh when people say I should’ve talked him into it,” Parcells told Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com. “I wasn’t capable of doing that.”
The league frowned on teams suggesting to underclassmen that they might somehow be welcome, while the floodgates have been thrown open now, with more than 100 early entrants in the draft.
Asked why he didn’t try to back-channel recruit Archie Manning, Parcells replied: “I think they have a pretty good idea of what would’ve happened if they came out.”
“Obviously, we had an interest in a quarterback, so, had he been available, I’m certain he would’ve been very, very strongly in the mix,” Parcells said. “There are times when good fortune strikes, and there are times when it doesn’t.”
The Jets ended up trading out of the top spot that year, and continuing on with Vinny Testaverde instead, and never quite settling it the way they could have.