Not only does Joe Namath have some sensible things to say to the New York Times’ Karen Crouse in Wednesday’s paper, but there’s no evidence to suggest he drunkenly tried to kiss her.

Joe Namath, the enduring symbol of the franchise’s only brush with majesty, is a fan now. He may have a Super Bowl ring and a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but he professes to have no more insight than Fireman Ed into how Coach Herman Edwards ended up leaving for Kansas City with two years remaining on his Jets contract.

In a telephone conversation Tuesday from his home in Tequesta, Fla., Namath (above) said he was happy to hear the Jets had hired Eric Mangini as their new coach, but he was mostly wondering what had happened with the old one.

“I’m more concerned with how we got here,” Namath said. He added: “I think there is too much of a smoke screen going up. I don’t think it’s fair to the fans what’s taking place with the coaching issue. To say it’s a family issue and that what happens in the family stays in the family is really dismissive. I’m really frustrated. Where is the truth?”

“So many people who have been part of the organization throughout the years have called to commiserate,” Namath said. The pain in his voice was plain. “We’re wondering what’s going on,” he said. “We’re in limbo.”

“What happened?” said Namath, who played for the Jets from 1965 to 1976. “This is what I’d like to find out, too, like everybody else. I don’t think hiding these things is the way to go.

“I’ve felt handcuffed with being able to express my opinions. I’m more or less fed up. There’s a lot of deception going on that I don’t think is justified.

“We’re just wondering why he has two more years on his contract with the Jets and the Jets let him leave for a fourth-round draft choice. That’s embarrassing. The head coach that you love you let go for a fourth-round draft choice? Who are you kidding?”