Source: DeSean Jackson to visit Redskins on Monday

Meadowlands Miracle II: Jackson's punt return vs. the Giants.
Meadowlands Miracle II: Jackson's punt return vs. the Giants. (RON CORTES / Staff)
Posted: March 31, 2014

DeSean Jackson's search for a new team will begin Monday, when the former Eagles receiver is scheduled to visit the Washington Redskins, according to a league source.

At least nine teams have expressed interest in Jackson, according to the source. Jackson was released by the Eagles on Friday after the team became concerned about his off-field behavior and believed it could no longer trade the three-time Pro Bowler.

Other reported suitors include the Chiefs and Jackson's former coach, Andy Reid.

The Redskins have about $6.9 million in salary-cap space, and owner Daniel Snyder has a penchant for high-profile acquisitions.

In 11 games against the Redskins, Jackson has 32 catches for 572 yards, and his five receiving touchdowns are the most against any opponent. He also scored on a rushing play and a punt return against Washington.

Multiple reports said the Chiefs reached out to Jackson. Reid was close with Jackson during their five seasons together in Philadelphia and was an important presence for Jackson after the death of Jackson's father in 2009. In Jackson's statement after his Friday release, the only person he mentioned by name was Reid.

"I have nothing but positive things to say about him," Reid said last week about his former receiver. "I did draft him. I had a great relationship with him. When his father passed away, that was a hard thing for him to go through at a young age. They were best friends. I've experienced life things with him. He was great for me when I was there."

Another connection in Kansas City is assistant head coach/wide receivers coach David Culley, who was Jackson's position coach during his first five seasons in the NFL.

When the Eagles tried trading Jackson, viable options appeared to be the Oakland Raiders and the New York Jets because of their cap space and need for a wideout. Jets owner Woody Johnson even mentioned Jackson by name last Sunday at the NFL's annual meetings.

Multiple reports said the Jets did not reach out to Jackson's camp after his release, but the New York Daily News reported that "people in the Jets organization are still interested in Jackson." The Jets have nearly $28.7 million in cap space. They also have quarterback Michael Vick, who was a close friend of Jackson's in Philadelphia.

There is mutual interest between the Raiders and Jackson, according to NFL.com, which reported that the Raiders have been researching Jackson for more than a week. The Raiders have $18.2 million in cap space and have targeted high-priced veterans such as Justin Tuck, Maurice Jones-Drew, LaMarr Woodley, James Jones, and Matt Schaub this offseason. Jackson, a native Californian, played college football in the Bay Area at California.

Other teams linked to Jackson have been Buffalo, Carolina, Seattle, and San Francisco. The Panthers have a need at wide receiver and coach Ron Rivera told USA Today they'd "be interested," although the Panthers are tight on cap space. The Seahawks have cap space, a culture that has allowed different personalities to thrive, players in the locker room who are close with Jackson, and a head coach who aggressively recruited Jackson out of high school.

The Eagles did not put a June 1 designation on Jackson's release, according to a league source, meaning the team will absorb the full $6 million cap hit in 2014. Jackson's five-year, $48 million contract, signed in March 2012, contained a $10 million signing bonus; the cap hit represents the prorated amount of the bonus for the remaining three years on the contract.

However, Jackson would have counted for $12.75 million on the Eagles' cap this season ($10.5 million in base salary, $2 million for his bonus, and a $250,000 workout bonus), so releasing him opened $6.75 million in space. The base salary was not guaranteed.


zberman@phillynews.com

@ZBerm

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