The DeSean Jackson trade rumors continue to swirl.
On Thursday, the New York Jets surfaced as a likely suitor for the Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver. The team signed Eric Decker at the start of free agency but continues to do its due diligence to provide second-year signal-caller Geno Smith more weapons in the receiving game. Since the team is hosting Michael Vick, a close friends of Jackson’s, and his former offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg is the Jets’ offensive coordinator, the fit made sense.
Not so fast.
According to the Charlotte Observer, the Eagles have “informally” reached out to the Carolina Panthers about a trade including Jackson. The Panthers have allowed their top four wide receivers, including longtime veteran Steve Smith, walk in free agency, and have only filled the void with journeyman Jerricho Cotchery.
While providing Cam Newton with a home-run threat like Jackson makes sense in theory, a potential deal might be more tricky. Jackson is owed $10.5 million this coming season and $9.75 million in 2015 and 2016. Carolina, however, has only about $5 million remaining is salary cap space and could not absorb Jackson’s contract.
Of course, the Panthers could try to create room. One way would be to ink defensive end Greg Hardy to a long-term deal. Hardy was slapped with a franchise tag prior to free agency and is set to make $13.1 million this season. There has been no sign that the team and Hardy are close to an extension, per the report.
In addition to the Jets and Panthers, the Oakland Raiders jumped into the race for Jackson late Thursday as well, according to NFL.com
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 21, 2014
Oakland recently signed former Green Bay Packers wideout James Jones to lead a receiving corps that includes Denarius Moore and Rod Streater. The Raiders have oft been connected to drafting Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins with the No. 5 overall, as the team is projected to do in the XN Sports Mock 1.0.
When the reports that the Eagles were entertaining calls for Jackson surfaced earlier in the week, the New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers were the first teams to be mentioned as landing spots. Neither team, however, is equipped with enough cap space for Jackson.