If there ever was any doubt that the New York Jets were interested in acquiring Eagles' wide receiver DeSean Jackson, there shouldn't be anymore. Woody Johnson, the owner of the New York Jets himself, confirmed the team's interest in a media session on Sunday. Initial reports of the Jets' interest in Jackson emerged earlier last week.
Jets owner Woody Johnson at owners meetings asked about DeSean Jackson, "We're looking at a number of players, including DeSean."— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) March 23, 2014
Johnson did say, in regards to Jackson, that a trade wouldn't be in the Jets' best interest. Obviously would prefer getting him if cut.— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) March 23, 2014
Woody Johnson mention, of DeSean, interest "at the right price" and "if he fits into the culture of our locker room." Questions persist.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 23, 2014
Of course, Johnson isn't supposed to talk on record about interest in other teams' players, but he apparently didn't know that. #tampering.— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) March 23, 2014
Johnson's remarks are strange for two reasons. One, it's odd for him to comment on interest in a player currently under contract with a different organization. As Bowen points out, that can be considered tampering. Two, it could only help the Eagles in a potential Jackson trade. That the Jets would publicly show their interest in Jackson doesn't help their leverage in a trade. At the same time, it is worth noting Johnson essentially said he hopes the Eagles cut Jackson, which would obviously be more preferable to the Jets. But then again why would the Eagles release him if they knew the Jets were so strongly interested?
If the Eagles end up dealing Jackson, the Jets would make sense for a couple of reasons: they lack talent at receiver, former Eagles QB (and friend of Jackson) Michael Vick recently signed there, and former Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinwheg is the now the OC there. It also means that the Eagles would be trading Jackson out of the NFC entirely, which means they would only have to face him once every three years in the regular season.
The trade market for Jackson has been looking bleak considering the Eagles' supposed desperation to part with him. But if Johnson's comments truly suggest the Jets are very interested in trading for Jackson, perhaps he just gave the Eagles the chance at a better deal.