After the stunning release of DeSean Jackson by the Philadelphia Eagles amid allegation of gang ties Friday, the 27-year-old receiver is in need a new home. And according to a report by NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport it could be on the west coast with the Oakland Raiders:
“Prior to his release, Jackson put the word out to the Raiders of his interest in joining the organization,” Rapoport reported via Twitter.
DeSean Jackson has a business decision. Curious to see if his heart makes it. Prerelease he put word out to #Raiders of his interest in them
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 29, 2014
And according to an article on NFL.com, “the interest is mutual.”
So while the Oakland Raiders appear to be the front runners to land DeSean Jackson, despite his alleged gang ties, another team in the mix to land Jackson is the New York Jets. Owner Woody Johnson has gone on record to express interest in DeSean’s services and according to ESPN.com‘s Rich Cmini, there are other factors that could result in Jackson joining the Jets:
“The Jets have tremendous flexibility. According to ESPN Stats & Information, they’re about $30.4 million under the salary cap. Only one other team, the Cleveland Browns, has more cap space. General manager John Idzik, speaking earlier this week at the NFL owners meetings, said he wouldn’t be opposed to having two big-money players at wide receiver.”
Another possible reason that DeSean Jackson to the Jets makes sense is the recent acquisition of free agent quarterback Michael Vick. Not only were Vick and Jackson teammates for several years, they also developed an off-the-field friendship that could ultimately push DeSean toward the New York area.
“The Vick-Jackson relationship could be a double-edged sword,” Cmini writes. “League insiders suggested that Jackson’s loyalty to Vick could backfire in a potentially volatile quarterback competition between Vick and Geno Smith.”
In the end whether Jackson ends up with the Oakland Raiders, Michael Vick and the New York Jets or ever the Kansas City Chiefs as some news outlets are reporting, there is one thing that is certain: signing DeSean would be controversial thanks to his reported gang ties. And ultimately, in a post Aaron Hernandez world, that rumor alone could keep DeSean Jackson on the sidelines altogether when the season gets underway in the fall.