With QB Michael Vick on board, will Jets also try to get receiver DeSean Jackson?
Michael Vick's arrival in Florham Park officially ended Mark Sanchez's five-year run with the Jets. But could Vick's presence also be used to lure receiver DeSean Jackson?
Vick, the former Eagles quarterback, and Jackson played five seasons together in Philadelphia. Both players were coached by current Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg.
And it appears the stage has been set for Jackson's exodus from the Eagles as well.
Philly is expected to trade or release the three-time Pro Bowler and the Jets, Panthers, 49ers and Seahawks are believed to be some of the teams interested in his services.
Jackson is scheduled to earn $10.25 million in base salary this season and is owed another $30 million through 2016. Few teams appear willing, or have the cap space, to absorb his hefty contract. So if a trade partner can't be found, the Eagles likely will cut him -- a move that will allow Jackson, 27, to negotiate with any team of his choosing, including the Jets.
Some around the league question whether a dynamic player who's been characterized as a diva would be a good fit for the Jets and their young quarterback, Geno Smith.
General manager John Idzik recently cut ties with mercurial wideout Santonio Holmes, who was considered a headache by several inside One Jets Drive.
"It's hard investing in a player that you know on the front end will be a headache," one NFL executive said. "But the Jets have a history of that."
Holmes was in his prime -- age 25 and coming off a Super Bowl MVP in 2008 and his best statistical season in 2009 -- when the Steelers dealt him to the Jets for a fifth-round pick. Coincidentally, Jackson is coming off his best season: a career-high 1,332 receiving yards, nine touchdowns and a 16.2 yards-per-catch average.
"Same circumstances," said one NFL agent, referring to the similarities between Holmes and Jackson. "Why does Philly want to get rid of him?"
As of now, Holmes hasn't garnered much attention on the free-agent market. But Jackson could have his pick of teams if the Eagles release him.
Vick was careful not to lobby for his former teammate to join him in Florham Park during his Friday night conference call with the New York media. But he made it clear he'd be on board with a reunion.
"I think DeSean has to handle his own business in his own personal manner and I have to handle mine," said Vick, who signed a one-year, $5-million deal that reportedly included a $1-million signing bonus.
"But if there's an opportunity to get DeSean, I'm pretty sure the New York Jets fans would be in favor of that. But who knows, it takes a lot to make a trade happen [with] all of the intricacies of a contract. It's not for us as players to decide. But hopefully everything will work out for DeSean. If he ends up in New York, we'll be happy, just as happy as he will be. But who knows, you can't say."
Jackson, meanwhile, has been quite active on social media, posting video clips of him and Vick teaming up for touchdowns. One video caption read "7 & 10 Work @ It's Best!!" referring to the numbers they each wore with the Eagles.
Jackson also posted photos of himself with Raiders fullback Marcel Reece and Panthers quarterback Cam Newton as well as a picture from 2005 of current Seahawks coach Pete Carroll sitting in Jackson's living room during a USC recruiting trip.