When the report that the Eagles were listening to trade offers for DeSean Jackson first emerged last week, the 49ers and the Patriots were two teams listed as potential suitors. Since then, a number of other teams have been rumored to have interest: the Raiders, Jets, Panthers, and Seahawks amongst them. But just how legitimate are these report? It remains to be seen, but for now there is one team denying their rumored interest.
49ers general manager Trent Baalke, who's in Orlando for the NFL owner's meeting this week, spoke with media and shot down the Jackson rumors.
"Right now, he’s under contract with the Philadelphia Eagles," Baalke told CSNBayArea.com on Sunday. "We’ve not made any contact with the Eagles relative to a trade for DeSean Jackson." [...] "As of this moment, those reports are totally misleading and false
As Niners Nation (SB Nation's 49ers blog) already explained, a Jackson deal never really made much sense for them. But Baalke's denial means more than just scratching a potential Jackson suitor off the list. It also speaks to the Eagles' negotiating strategy in this situation. As David Fucillo writes:
This denial would seem to add weight to the idea that those rumors are being pushed by either the Philadelphia Eagles or DeSean Jackson's agent. There have also been rumors that the Eagles would release Jackson if they could not get a trade done. Jackson fired Drew Rosenhaus last year, and hired Joel Segal. At this point, Segal benefits from any new deal Jackson negotiates. If he is traded, his new team likely would need to re-work his deal. And of course, if Jackson is released, obviously he would be working out a new contract somewhere.
The rumors have been entertaining, but it seems pretty clear that LaCanfora and CSN Philly have just been getting used by the Eagles and/or Jackson's agent. That's often how these kinds of situations play out.
So with a number of teams rumored to be interested, the source of these reports is hoping to drive up Jackson's trade value by creating a competitive market. The problem here is that the Eagles have already been reported to be openly shopping Jackson and directly calling other teams about him, which hurts his value.