Geno Smith was Rex Ryan's quarterback for two years in New York, but the head coach reportedly would have liked that partnership to last longer.
According to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, Ryan pondered a scenario in which Smith could join him in Buffalo.
"Ryan believed in Smith despite all of the quarterback’s flaws," Mehta wrote. "Shortly after getting the Bills job, he wondered out loud to friends whether the Jets would be open to trading Smith to Buffalo."
While nothing has come of Ryan's pondering, his loyalty to past players does fall in line with his actions and the way he has spoken throughout his coaching career.
The Bills claimed Ikemefuna Enemkpali, who was a sixth-round pick by the Jets under Ryan last year, after he was released by the Jets for striking Smith, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. That may speak to how the 52-year-old feels about players he has personally coached.
It's also a legitimate thing for Ryan to think about because the Bills need a quarterback. Matt Cassel and EJ Manuel aren't long-term solutions, so getting another young quarterback in the mix who could challenge for the starting job makes sense.
Ultimately, a deal between the Bills and Jets has not happened involving Smith. Ryan knows how to work with an outstanding defense and mediocre quarterback play, so his first year in Buffalo could end up looking like his first year in New York, with Cassel playing the role of Smith or Mark Sanchez.