It’s only took a decade or so, but repeated disappointment finally tempered the mania and inflated expectations of many D.C. fans whenever Daniel Snyder gasses up the jet and goes hunting for faded big-name free agents. Still, you can always count on some to fall into the Offseason Champs trap. When it does happen, it is glorious. It’s my favorite thing about Washington aside from the stark class and race divide. WaPo’s Sally Jenkins, usually a sound writer, has done just that with Ol’ Battleship Manning. She might be trolling, and that’s fine. She might be serious, and that would be even better.

Do it. Get him. Whatever must be done, however much the Redskins have to pay or promise to bring Peyton Manning to Washington, they should offer it.

If you can mortgage your future to bring a likely nerve damaged soon-to-be 36-year-old quarterback to a rebuilding franchise, you do it. Pop the bubbly, DMV!

This is one instance in which Dan Snyder needs to be the Dan Snyder we used to know, the check-writer with a signature on the bottom flashier than a fountain.

Woah woah woah. What’s this “used to” stuff? Because it’s been three whole years since the last catastrophic free agent signing?

This isn’t some impulsive grab at a big-name jersey. Manning has absolutely nothing in common with the fat and happy Redskins free agent disasters of the past.

He’s the gaunt and forlorn disaster of the future! Whereas others were content to take big money and fail, Peyton will be super pissed about it and that means something, ITHINKMAYBE.

We are talking about a player who, even if his 36-year-old arm is weakened, will instantly elevate the team, franchise and by extension the entire city with his competitive character.

His arm is weak but his competitive character will make transform D.C. into a cloud city with Billy Dee Williams as mayor. Congress will instantly grant D.C. voting rights, because who doesn’t want to hear from Competition Cloud City?

Manning is well worth the biggest gamble in franchise history. According to doctors, he is healed from neck surgery, and there is every indication he can regain his arm strength.

And that’s why Peyton’s had multiple surgeries, because all the other ones went perfectly and he wanted to be extra perfect. He’s that competitive!

The Redskins indeed need to “draft one of their own” at some point. But the stern reality is that their draft choice may not pan out, and it could take more than one draftee before they find their future.

“Draft picks are tooooo risky! Old busted quarterbacks like Donovan McNabb and Peyton Manning are a stone-cold lock!”

As Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan has said repeatedly in the past year about his failed hunt for a field leader, which led from the sluggish McNabb to the mulish Rex Grossman

I’ll interpret that as a commentary on his size.

“These guys don’t drop off trees.”

If they did, Snyder might not have destroyed all those trees blocking his view of the Potomac

/Dave McKenna burns

The greats are rare, and within that category Manning is even rarer, a once-in-a-generation opportunity. He’s the record holder for league MVP awards with four, the single most accomplished, highest-quality free agent ever to hit the open market.

Since the Seahawks signed Jerry Rice.

This is no Dana Stubblefield, or Deion Sanders, or Jeff George. This is a player so exacting and intelligent and impactful that it’s hard to measure the uplift he gives a franchise.

Coming soon: the District of Upliftville!

A couple of years ago I asked Jimmy Johnson what he saw as the biggest problem holding the Redskins back.

“Lack of ExtenZe.”

Why, I asked, were they locked in such a decade-long stasis, why was it that no matter how many coaching changes, and no matter how many times they remade the roster, they still fought to be an 8-8 team. He answered without hesitation, “Quarterback play.”

Sally must have beat a retreat before Jimmy could add “line play, receiver play, lack of pass rush, secondary play, special teams play, coaching, front office mismanagement and possible gypsy curse.”

I’ve heard all the arguments against making Manning a Redskin — they can’t protect him, they don’t have enough big targets for him — and they are nonsense. Manning’s line was plenty iffy in Indianapolis the last couple of years, and just look what he did behind it.

F*ck up his neck?

The pitch to Manning should be: come lay down a cornerstone and be part of returning the Redskins to greatness. There is no better or more appreciative city in which to be champion, none.

They’ll name a burger after you at BGR!

There’s one more thing the Redskins can offer. They have an owner who has shown a willingness to open his wallet when needed, who is not afraid of spending money to buy excitement. It’s finally time to use that to their advantage.

Oh, good idea. Why didn’t anyone ever think to make their biggest liability a strength?