The Jets cannot be ruled out of the Alex Smith sweepstakes, but they also should not exactly be ruled in, based on the complicated financial circumstances they face.

During the annual NFL Combine, taking place in Indianapolis, the 49ers reportedly have leaked news they have a deal in place for Smith, their former starting quarterback, though the identity of their trade partner remains unknown.

The obvious candidates include the Jaguars, Browns, Cardinals and Chiefs, who are the most quarterback-challenged teams in the league.

The Browns and Jaguars, however, have stated publicly they are not the 49ers’ potential trade partner, so the signs point most strongly toward the Chiefs, who are expected to release Matt Cassel and are not expected to use their No. 1 overall draft pick on a quarterback.

New Chiefs head coach Andy Reid has a history of coveting Smith and reportedly had an interest in acquiring him last season while he was still coaching the Eagles.

The Jets?

They are intent on bringing in legitimate competition to try to unseat embattled incumbent Mark Sanchez.