Jets owner Woody Johnson didn’t mince words Sunday talking about trading for Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson.
“We’re looking at a number of players, including DeSean,” Johnson said. “He’s a very good player. We’re looking at a number of them.”
Johnson made his comments the night before the league meetings opened in Orlando, Fla. While it has been widely rumored the Eagles are looking to move Jackson — or cut him if they can’t find a buyer — the league may consider Johnson’s comments tampering.
But Johnson also said the Jets’ “primary operating motif” is not to acquire players through trade, but instead through the NFL Draft. General manager John Idzik has stressed that throughout his one-year tenure in New York. The Seahawks, where Idzik came from, have taken a similar tack.
The Jets’ only major free-agent signing this offseason was wide receiver Eric Decker. He was inked to a five-year, $36.25 million deal with $15 million guaranteed. The team cut Santonio Holmes while Jeremy Kerley is the top returning receiver on the roster.
Jackson had 82 receptions for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns last season. He also is close with Michael Vick, who the Jets just signed on Friday, and who will be given the opportunity to compete for starter with Geno Smith in the fall.
Jackson, 27, is due $10.5 million on his base salary this season, but would be a $12.5 million salary cap hit in 2014. The Jets do have a large amount of cap space, though he would be one of the higher-paid players on the roster. His average salary would be just over that of D’Brickashaw Ferguson’s $10 million.