"If Peyton Manning does become a free agent, you know, for argument's sake, (Stanford's Andrew) Luck gets drafted by Indianapolis, and the Colts cut ties with Manning, if he checks out physically -- and I know that's a big if -- but if that is the case, the Jets will make a call to inquire about Peyton Manning," Mehta said Tuesday on "PFT Live."
For the record, Ryan has denied any interest in Manning. All of this would hinge on the quarterback's successful recovery from his third neck procedure in the last two years and, of course, what Colts owner Jim Irsay plans to do with his star quarterback in the wake of firing vice chairman Bill Polian and general manager Chris Polian. The Colts, of course, also hold the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.
"Now, it remains to be seen if a deal can be struck, and, again, we're looking far into the future here because it is a big if; if he's going to get cut for one and be available and, again, who knows about his health? But I think the Jets would really make a legitimate inquiry into Peyton Manning because of Rex Ryan's affinity for him. He thinks he's the best quarterback, when healthy, in the league -- better than Tom Brady, better than Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, all those guys."