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Jets reportedly hold talks regarding JaMarcus Russell

The headline looks spicy and somewhat humiliating to fans of the New York Jets: Jets interested in JaMarcus Russell?

The reality probably isn't so embarrassing.

Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger wrote a piece Monday night that explained the different ways the Jets could add competition for quarterback Mark Sanchez. One paragraph stuck out:

"More recently, after (former GM Mike) Tannenbaum was let go, members of the organization had some very exploratory, informal discussions regarding former Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell, the 2007 No. 1 overall pick who flamed out of the NFL after the 2009 season," Orr wrote. "Russell recently decided to mount a comeback in hopes of returning to the league next season."

The Jets are the butt of many a joke, but let's make the jokes when the team shows real interest. Orr goes out of his way here to emphasize the "exploratory, informal" nature of the discussions. That could be a routine conversation, one that takes place regarding many more prominent players. (Say, Matt Cassel, for instance.)

It could also mean that Russell's agent gave the Jets a call.

Whatever the nature of the talks, we'll take it seriously if and when the Jets or any other team actually show real interest in Russell. That remains a long shot.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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