Peyton Manning a Jet? Could've happened
The decision not only changed the Volunteers' fortunes, but altered the trajectories of two teams.
Had he turned pro in 1997, he might've been a New York Jet and certainly wouldn't have been an Indianapolis Colt.
New York Post columnist Mike Vaccaro looked back on the turn of events:
Manning would stay for one more somewhat disappointing season at Tennessee, and he would actually see his stock drop ever so slightly, going from a clear-cut No. 1 to a hard-to-believe-it-now coin-flip debate involving Ryan Leaf. The Colts have a Super Bowl already in tow and are favorites for another, thanks solely to Manning growing into perhaps the greatest quarterback the game has ever known.There are no guarantees Jets general manager Bill Parcells would have selected Manning ahead of Ohio State tackle Orlando Pace. When given a choice between Jake Long and Matt Ryan for the Miami Dolphins in 2008, Parcells went with the franchise left tackle. Vaccaro also points out the Jets had Neil O'Donnell, who was a year removed from the Super Bowl.
But Phil Simms was enamored with the idea.
"That would have been a match made in heaven because you're talking about two guys who see the game exactly the same way," Simms said of a Parcells-Manning partnership.
It's a fanciful thought to picture Manning in green.
How many Super Bowls would the Jets have won?
Would there be such a thing as a New England Patriots dynasty if Manning was in the AFC East?
Final Indianapolis 28 Cincinnati 42 Final Atlanta 21 Green Bay 22 Final Cleveland 26 New England 27 Final Oakland 27 New York 37 Final Detroit 20 Philadelphia 34 Final Miami 34 Pittsburgh 28 Final Buffalo 6 Tampa Bay 27 Final Kansas City 45 Washington 10 Final Minnesota 26 Baltimore 29 Final Tennessee 28 Denver 51 Final St. Louis 10 Arizona 30 Final New York 14 San Diego 37 Final Seattle 17 San Francisco 19 Final Carolina 13 New Orleans 31