(Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images) (Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images)

That little meeting between Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase and Alabama Coach Nick Saban recently in Tuscaloosa?

It has piqued the interest of the NFL, which is looking into whether the get-together, described by Saban as “mutually beneficial,” violated rules. Specifically, under the collective bargaining agreement, NFL players and coaches are not allowed to meet until the offseason workout program begins. And that is Monday, a couple of weeks after the twosome were together in Tuscaloosa.

Saban pointed out that he and the Manning family go way back and Gase, who worked under Saban with Michigan State and LSU, spoke at Alabama’s coaching clinic last weekend. But the meeting he described Thursday sounded more like a brainstorming session.

“To be honest with you, he was just trying to learn so he could be a better player,” Saban said. “I think a lot of people would say, ‘Wow, the guy is one of the best, if not the best, and certainly from a career standpoint probably about as good as anybody’s been in the history of the league. After all the experience and knowledge that he has, he’s going out and trying to seek more knowledge and understanding of the game of football so he can play better.'”

The Broncos had no comment for the Denver Post, which reported the investigation. As Pro Football Talk reported when it raised the possibility of a violation, the meeting could have been innocent happenstance. Perhaps Gase was visiting Saban when Manning stopped by. At any rate, the NFL would like to know more.

As for the NCAA, no regulations were broken but news of the meeting went over poorly with Tennessee fans, who weren’t happy to see their alum and hero consorting with someone they consider to be the enemy. That may be the least of Peyton’s problems.