[Updated Friday, 8:41 a.m.]
Whether or not the Eagles are actively shopping DeSean Jackson right now is irrelevant.
The bottom line is his name has been tossed around in league circles, and the team has remained silent. That means interested parties are at least going to call to see what the deal is.
And according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, there is “lots of interest” in Jackson’s services.
Three teams mentioned specifically: the Jets, Raiders and Panthers.
The Jets signed Eric Decker, but could still use an upgrade at the wide receiver position. And Jackson’s former offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg is running the show there. New York could also land Michael Vick, although that situation remains fluid.
The Jets currently have over $26 million in cap space, third-most in the league. They have eight picks in May’s draft, including four selections in the first three rounds.
The Raiders have $25.59 million in cap space, fourth-most. They have seven draft picks, including three in the first three rounds.
And finally, the Panthers only have $5.7 million in cap space, but Carolina is in desperate need of wide receiver help. The Panthers have six draft picks (three in the first three rounds).
Of course, it’s always important to consider the potential source of reports like the one mentioned. Are the Eagles trying to unload Jackson and build up a market? Or are teams really lining up for his services all of a sudden? Good point here by Les Bowen:
Anytime a team’s trying to trade a guy & there’s a report of “lots of interest,” it’s just so hard to figure out where report comes from…
— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) March 21, 2014
And it’s worth noting that shortly after the report surfaced, the Panthers seemed to indicate they’re not a serious suitor:
I wouldn’t put much stock in the Panthers’ DeSean Jackson rumors. Unless Jackson is willing to take a substantial pay cut, not happening.
— Joe Person (@josephperson) March 21, 2014
Sorry to disappoint #Panthers fans intrigued by DeSean Jackson rumors & reports, but it’s not going to happen. CAR isn’t interested.
— Bill Voth (@billvoth) March 21, 2014
Maybe in the end the Eagles will hold on to Jackson. But it seems pretty clear at this point that they don’t mind answering the phone and hearing what teams are willing to offer. And the idea that they’re actively shopping him is only picking up steam.