According to Comcast Sports Net in Philadelphia, the New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers have already inquired about Jackson.
Per the report, the Eagles are looking to receive at least a third-round pick — and perhaps more — in exchange for Jackson, who is coming off a career year. In his first season in Chip Kelly’s high-octane offense, Jackson totaled 1,332 yards, which ranked ninth among NFL wideouts. He also hauled in a career-best nine touchdowns and averaged 16.2 yards per catch, which was the third-highest among receivers with 80 receptions.
After the Eagles inked Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin to deals at the beginning of March, rumors swirled that Jackson could be on his way out of town. Philly.com then reported there were members of Philadelphia’s front office who did not believe Jackson’s personality fit in with the team’s locker room culture, and that the team “could be open to trading him.” Fitting in with the reports surfacing now, the team did not intend to aggressively shop the wide receiver, but would be willing to listen to offers should other teams make the call.
According to CSN Philly, Kelly has little tolerance when it comes to diva players like Jackson, who has had altercations with some members of Eagles’ coaching staff and has stated he’d like a new contract, even though he has three years remaining on his current deal.
“Kelly is known to have little patience with me-first players and to prefer receivers that have more size than the 5-foot-10, 175-pound Jackson,” according to the report.
Both the Niners and Patriots have first- and second-round draft picks to dangle for Jackson. The Niners have a greater need for the speedster, as the receiving corps features Michael Crabtree and the veteran Anquan Boldin. San Francisco lost Mario Manningham to the New York Giants earlier Tuesday in free agency, and was unable to get too much out of former first-round pick Jon Baldwin since acquiring him from the Kansas City Chiefs.
New England is apparently hoarding wide receivers after trouble with the receiving corps last season. The team re-signed Julian Edelman and brought in veteran Brandon LaFell, formerly of the Carolina Panthers. Last offseason, New England signed Danny Amendola — not to mention they have a pair of youngsters in Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins. Still, a wide receiving trio of Edelman, Amendola and Jackson could revive the Pats offense yet again.
The financial burden is there, too. Jackson signed a long-term deal with the Eagles not too long ago. He’s due $10.5 million in 2014 and $9.75 million in 2015 and again in 2016. San Francisco has about $4.2 million in cap space remaining for the coming season, while New England is sitting pretty with about $9.7 million.