Jets fired Mangini, but they’ll need him to land Cutler

Eric Mangini was fired as the New York Jets’ coach after a disappointing conclusion to the 2008 season, but he could become a key factor in what would be the team’s biggest acquisition since, well, Brett Favre.

Close to one year after he welcomed Favre’s short stay in the Big Apple, Mangini could help facilitate a deal that would put disgruntled Denver Broncos QB Jay Cutler in green and white, Rich Cimini writes in Thursday’s New York Daily News.

Cimini suggests that the Jets have two of the three pieces required to make a move for Cutler — the salary-cap room and the draft picks. But the third element, a tradeable quarterback, is something that might require the help of a third team. Enter Mangini and his new team, the Cleveland Browns, who Cimini notes has two starting quarterbacks.

“The former Jets coach has two viable quarterbacks, Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson, neither of whom has received an endorsement from Mangini. Quinn might be appealing to Broncos coach Josh McDaniels because he played at Notre Dame under Charlie Weis, who used to work with McDaniels in New England. Quinn is well-versed in the Weis/Patriots offensive system, which McDaniels will use in Denver.

“That means the Browns could emerge as the third team in a potential three-way trade. The main components of a three-way deal would be the Jets getting Cutler, the Broncos getting Quinn and the Browns getting a premium draft pick (or picks) to help their rebuilding process. Without Mangini, the Jets would be hard-pressed to swing the deal.”

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