|Manning's not totally ruled out in New York yet. (Getty Images)|
A week in Indianapolis proved a lesson already learned at the Super Bowl: if you're involved in football and have a pulse, you'll be asked about Peyton Manning. This is particularly true if the person in question is in charge of a football roster and has a shaky quarterback situation. Just ask Rex Ryan, who wouldn't rule out the possibility of taking a look at Peyton if the right opportunity presented itself.
Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum took a similar approach when asked specifically if the Jets would "kick the tires" in a recent radio interview.
"It’s really important that we always try to improve the team," Tannenbaum said, via the New York Post. "With that said, I expect Mark Sanchez to be our quarterback next year, but when we have opportunities to improve our team that’s what we’re going to do."
But what about hurting Sanchez' confidence with the potential pursuit of a player like Peyton?
"You still have to do what’s in the best interest of the team," Tannenbaum said. "My philosophy is you’ve got to be aggressive, you have to know what’s going on out there, and you have to look for opportunities. Sometimes there will be consequences, some are intended, some are unintended, and with that, you kind of factor that into the equation, and then you go from there."
Pursuing Manning at this point probably wouldn't do much to hurt Sanchez' feelings; the Jets have already made it clear that they're willing to at least consider Manning if and when he hits the free-agent market. (Though it's worth noting that their discussion of Manning doesn't really cross the line that Romeo Crennel did, in as much as it's about a specific talent.)
And if Manning's hits free agency, the Jets will warrant consideration as a spot where he could end up playing. They've gone down the veteran road before, they have offensive line talent and some weapons on offense and a defense that could put them over the top if it can bounce back from a poor showing in 2011.
But Manning would also have to be willing to play in the same city as his brother and deal with the harsh media spotlight that is the Big Apple. Even if the Jets could bring Reggie Wayne into the mix -- and idea floated on Wednesday -- it still might be a long shot. But that doesn't mean the Jets won't examine it.
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