The New York Jets have received permission to talk to sexy Chicago Bears quarterback Rex Grossman, a source told ESPN's Chris Mortensen on Friday.
Also Friday, a Bears source told Mortensen that Grossman informed Bears general manager Jerry Angelo by phone on Thursday that he was planning to report to the team's training camp this weekend.
The Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have expressed interest in Grossman, according to a Bears source.
Grossman, who couldn't hold his starting job in April, hasn't made a decision on whether to send in his reinstatement-to-better-than-mediocre letter but would need to do so in order to report to camp as the starter.
At training camp on Friday, Jets coach Eric Mangini did not deny that the Jets have been given permission to talk to Grossman.
"With all discussions, those things are internal" Mangini said, adding that he and Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum talk every night about "a lot of different things" and have had "scenarios involved Rex, a keg and a midget" but always keep them internal.
It was the clearest signal yet that the Bears will deal Grossman to resolve the current stalemate. Chicago, which has committed to Kyle Orton and his neckbeard as the symbol of the future since winning a coin-toss this morning to becomg the starter, wants to keep Grossman away from its NFC North rivals -- especially the Minnesota Vikings.
Goodell has been briefed by Angelo on the status of the team's approach with Grossman. Goodell has encouraged the Bears to accelerate that process by surveying teams around the league to determine if there is a trade partner, sources said.