Trading for DeSean Jackson seems unlikely

March, 21, 2014
Mar 21
11:30
AM ET
The rumor mill is abuzz that the Carolina Panthers might be interested in trading for Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson. ESPN's Ed Werder said on "SportsCenter" that the Panthers "might entertain the idea" of a deal.

For that to happen, Jackson would have to entertain the idea of taking a huge salary cut.

I don't see that happening.

Jackson
I feel so strongly about it that I almost didn't address it here.

But since the rumor is swirling and fans are asking, let's say the Panthers were interested and Jackson was interested in taking less money. Let's say he'd be willing to play for roughly half of the $10.25 million he is scheduled to receive in 2014, and renegotiate the rest of his deal to something that would fit under the team's tight cap.

Even then the Panthers probably would have to do something drastic to make it work. They might have to cut a player like safety Charles Godfrey with a June 1 designation to save $5.1 million of his $7.1 million cap hit this season.

But then the Panthers would have a big hole at free safety, although finding a starting free safety could prove easier than a bona fide No. 1 receiver.

And how would such a deal impact negotiations with quarterback Cam Newton for a long-term deal?

The third-round pick the Eagles reportedly are wanting would be the easy part. To get a player of Jackson's caliber for a third-round pick would be a no-brainer.

He could stretch the field for Newton even further than Ted Ginn Jr. did last season -- and he would make the catch more times than Ginn.

He might have a bit of an attitude, but star wide receivers are prone to have attitudes.

Trading for Jackson would turn general manager Dave Gettleman from the goat many consider him to be after releasing Steve Smith into a hero. But Gettleman isn't interested in being a hero. He prefers staying out of the spotlight.

The scenario just doesn't seem to make sense for a Carolina team looking for bargains, no matter how desperately it needs help at receiver.

As it stands, they won't have a bona fide No. 1. They barely have a No. 2 in Thursday signee Jerricho Cotchery. Jackson is a No. 1, as he showed last season with 82 catches for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns.

Getting past the money would be the biggest obstacle -- for both sides -- even if Jackson was a choir boy. Jackson still has $30.5 million owed on the last three years of a five-year deal -- and in January he reportedly wanted to renegotiate that.

I doubt for less money.

If anything is going to happen, the NFL owners meetings that begin on Monday in Orlando, Fla., would be a good place.

I just don't see anything happening -- at least for the Panthers.

David Newton | email

ESPN Carolina Panthers reporter

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