DeSean Jackson Rumors: Latest Buzz Surrounding Former Eagles WR

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 28, 2014

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Updates from Tuesday, April 1

NBC News4's Dianna Marie Russini broke the news that Jackson has signed with Washington:

Jackson tweeted about it:

Below is how the story evolved throughout a very eventful Tuesday:

NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported DeSean Jackson will remain in the area with hopes to work out a deal with the Redskins:

Albert Breer of NFL.com reported Jackson met with the Redskins on Tuesday morning:

Mike Jones and Mark Maske of The Washington Post later reiterated that a deal had not been reached yet:

Jackson arrived at Redskins Park on Monday evening and went to dinner with Coach Jay Gruden and members of the coaching staff. He also spent time with wide receiver Pierre Garcon and cornerback DeAngelo Hall late Monday night.

More meetings were scheduled for Tuesday as Washington front-office officials and Jackson’s representative continued negotiations.

One person, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment on the matter, said Tuesday morning that the sides were believed to be “getting close.” But as of that time, Jackson had yet to sign a contract, a second person said.

Tarik El-Bashir of CSN Washington had the latest on talks with the Redskins:

Chris Russell of ESPN980.com also reported an expectation for when Jackson will sign with his new team:

ABC's Jeff Skversky initially reported Jackson and the Redskins agreed to terms of a deal, but he quickly followed his report by saying a contract hasn't been signed yet:

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Ian Rapoport of NFL.com has more on Jackson's dealings with Washington:

Dianna Marie Russini of NBC 4 in Washington has more on Jackson's suitors:

Breer had more on the 49ers and Jackson:

After his dinner with the Redskins, Jackson was suppose to fly out of DC. He never made that flight according to Russini:

Updates from Monday, March 31

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports the timeline for DeSean Jackson's visit with the Washington Redskins:

TMZ had more on Jackson and the Redskins:

Looks like the Redskins are serious about DeSean Jackson -- 'cause TMZ Sports has learned the WR hung out with RG3 in L.A. this weekend BEFORE he got on a plane to meet with the team in D.C. 

Sources tell us ... DJ and Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III "spent several hours" together in Los Angeles -- apparently things went well. 

Upon landing in Washington, Jackson spoke about his free agency (via A.J. Perez of NJ.com):

ESPN's Ed Werder later reported Jackson was receiving heavy interest from two undisclosed teams:

Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press provides a statement from Lions head coach Jim Caldwell discussing Jackson:

Lions coach Jim Caldwell said after an appearance on the “Mike and Mike” radio show today that the team has not had any conversations about signing Jackson, despite still having a need at the position.

“We haven’t discussed him,” Caldwell said. “But I can tell you, obviously, he’s a playmaker, he’s a guy that can get it done and certainly has proven that he can do so. But at this point in time, we have not had any discussions.”

Mike Jones of The Washington Post details how Jackson will be spending his time in Washington: 

ESPN's Britt McHenry spoke with Robert Griffin III about potentially landing Jackson:

Rapoport later provided more details when speaking on the NFL Network on Monday night as provided by Chris Wesseling:

Appearing on "NFL Total Access" Tuesday, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport confirmed the Redskinsdo have a chance to "seal the deal" if they can reach agreement by Tuesday afternoon.

If the Redskins let Jackson leave the building without a new contract, though, the wide receiver will not lack for suitors.

Jackson is "beyond the one-year, 'prove-it' type of deal," per Rapoport, because his market is strong with the Raiders and Bills lurking.

"If you want to talk about what kind of contract he would generate, Eric Decker was the top receiver on the market during free agency," Rapoport said. "Don't be surprised if DeSean Jackson commands more than that. He is coming off possibly the best year of his career, and was set to make $10.5 million with the Eagles."

Tim McManus of 97.5 The Fanatic in Philly provided an update late Monday night:

After Jackson met with Redskins management, players Pierre Garcon and DeAngelo Hall did their part in convincing Jackson to sign with Washington with the help of rapper Wale. The musician took a picture of the group:

Updates from Sunday, March 30

Albert Breer of NFL.com had an update on the Oakland Raiders' interest in Jackson:

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com followed:

Rich Tandler of CSNWashington.com provides a synopsis of ESPN's John Clayton discussing DeSean Jackson's NFL future on ESPN's SportsCenter:

Updates from Saturday, March 29

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports the Chiefs are no longer in the running for Jackson:

Dianna Marie Russini of NBC reports Jackson will visit the Washington Redskins:

Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle provides an update on the Oakland Raiders' interest in Jackson:

According to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a slight interest in Jackson:

And for that reason, Smith and general manager Jason Licht said Friday that they will consider Jackson but emphasized he would have to be the right fit on and off the field.

"I've had a chance to be on the other side of the field and have watched him make a lot of great plays," Smith said. "He's a great football player. Of course, we look at everyone we think can help us win."

The Bucs were not among the teams Friday to contact Jackson's agent.

Licht was less enthusiastic. "He'd have to be the right fit on and off the field," Licht said. "I don't want to dismiss him right away but we're looking at a bunch of other players, too."

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that Jackson may have reached out to the Raiders about their interest in him:

ESPN's Adam Schefter says the New York Jets aren't among the teams who have contacted Jackson's agent:

Rapoport added two other teams to the mix:

Tim Graham of The Buffalo News has more on the Buffalo Bills' potential interest:

Original Text

After the best season of his career, DeSean Jackson is out of a job. The question now is what is the next step for the former Philadelphia Eagles receiver.

Adam Schefter of ESPN broke the news of the player's release from his team:

Schefter also reported that there was almost immediate interest in the 27-year-old speedster:

Jim Corbett of USA Today reported that the Carolina Panthers were very interested in the wideout:

Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera's playoff team has a glaring wide receiver need and Rivera told USA TODAY Sports Friday he's intrigued by the possibility of pursuing DeSean Jackson following his bombshell release minutes earlier by the Philadelphia Eagles.

Jackson is coming off a career-best 82-catch, 1,332-yard, 9-touchdown season.

"We'd be interested. He's an intriguing player and we'll take a look at him,'' Rivera told USA TODAY Sports from the West Coast. "I just got word and this is surprising to hear. He's an explosive player who has great vertical speed and is strong going to the ball."

But, despite Rivera's comments, Joseph Person of The Charlotte Observer reports the team isn't interested in Jackson after all:

Danny Parkins of AM Radio 610 in Kansas City reports that the Chiefs are among the teams interested in Jackson:

ESPN's Rich Cimini added the Jets to the list of interested teams:

Before the announcement, Eliot Shorr-Parks and A.J. Perez of NJ.com provided an in-depth look at why the Eagles were interested in dealing the talented player:

The Eagles' apparent interest in jettisoning Jackson likely has little to do with his performance on the field or a big-money contract that could squeeze the team's salary cap. Rather, sources close to Jackson and within the Eagles' organization say, it's Jackson's off-field behavior that concerns the front office. A bad attitude, an inconsistent work ethic, missed meetings and a lack of chemistry with head coach Chip Kelly are the reasons, sources told NJ.com. And when the Eagles looked more deeply into why Jackson was missing meetings, they found that his friends were becoming a more powerful—and negative—influence in his life.

Now the Eagles have even more serious concerns—Jackson's continued association with reputed Los Angeles street gang members who have been connected to two homicides since 2010.

The off-field concerns apparently were enough to cause the team to overlook a player who finished with 82 catches for 1,332 receiving yards and nine touchdowns in 2013. Only Josh Gordon had more than Jackson's 25 receptions of 20 yards or more.

ESPN Stats and Information provided this look at the receiver's deep-threat ability as well:

Still, the off-field issues and contract provided no market for the Eagles to make a trade, something that confused Bill Barnwell of Grantland:

The good news is that while releasing him was a controversial decision, his former teammates did not seem too upset. Center Jason Kelce had this to say after the announcement:

Before the transaction, fellow receiver Jeremy Maclin explained, via Reuben Frank of CSN Philly:

Anything is possible in this league. I think the organization is going to do what’s best for the organization. Everybody knows DeSean is a phenomenal talent, but at the end of the day, that's not a decision that players get to make or the city gets to make. 

That's a decision that the staff gets to make, and I think whatever they decide to do, and with any decision, that’s what you have to believe in, that's what you got to have faith in.

No matter what anyone feels, this still leaves an extremely talented player available on the market. Bleacher Report's Aaron Nagler thinks this is a short-term issue:

The question is which team will take a risk on a player with personal issues like this. The New England Patriots have often taken these types of chances, but Doug Kyed of NESN believes this is not possible: 

Omar Kelly of the South Florida's Sun-Sentinel also counts out a move to the Miami Dolphins:

However, there is one legitimate possibility based on past interest. Earlier in the week, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported that the Oakland Raiders wanted Jackson, but were unwilling to give up a pick:

Now that the receiver is a free agent, it is certainly possible that the team could renew its interest in the veteran player.

Oakland finished last season ranked 25th in passing in the NFL and the organization has not had a 1,000-yard receiver since Randy Moss in 2005. Jackson would clearly provide some help to a rebuilding team.

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports added a few other possible destinations:

No matter where Jackson ends up, the new team will likely be extremely cautious about what the receiver does in his free time.

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