3:23pm: Jets owner Woody Johnson indicated the team’s interest in Jackson by name, saying “We’re looking at a lot of players, including DeSean,” according to Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News (Twitter link). However, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that Johnson implied that a trade was not the best option to acquire Jackson, ostensibly meaning that the Jets hope the Eagles simply release the receiver.
9:18am: Here at PFR, we have written extensively on the potential trade or release of mercurial wideout DeSean Jackson since rumors first surfaced that the Eagles would listen to trade offers for him at the beginning of this month (check out a useful roundup of Jackson links here). At some point over the course of the past few weeks, the Patriots, 49ers, Jets, Panthers, and Seahawks have all been said to have some interest in Jackson, either in trading for him or signing him if he should be released.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk has added an interesting twist to the story. He writes that there is “suspicion” in league circles that the interest of at least some of the above-mentioned teams has been fabricated by the Eagles in an attempt to create a trade market for Jackson. Of course, if Philadelphia is indeed leaking false rumors, the strategy does not appear to be paying off, as there has yet to be a single report of a firm offer for Jackson.
However, the Jets’ interest does appear to be genuine. New York has been the team linked most frequently to Jackson, and Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com writes that the Jets have the ammo to bring him aboard. As Cimini notes, the Jets “have the resources to be a major player. They have the need, the cap space (more than $30 million) and the right recruiter (Michael Vick).”
Cimini adds that the Jets have a “measured interest” in trading for Jackson, but that their interest would certainly intensify if Jackson were released. Nonetheless, Cimini himself believes acquiring Jackson would be out of character for GM John Idzik. Jackson is a “problem child,” and the fact that the Eagles appear willing to rid themselves of such an integral component to their 2013 success speaks volumes. Cimini also notes that Jackson and Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg appeared to have something of a rocky relationship when Mornhinweg was in Philadelphia.