Friday, March 21, 2014
Is Carolina in the picture on Britt, Jackson?
By David Newton
Just when you thought the wide receiver situation with the Carolina Panthers couldn't get crazier, it may have.
The Panthers may still be in the running for troubled Tennessee Titans free agent wide receiver Kenny Britt.
And is Philadelphia wide receiver DeSean Jackson interested in the Panthers if the Eagles trade him? On Friday afternoon, Jackson tweeted "Me @ lil bro newton_cameron'' with an Instagram picture of him laughing it up with Carolina quarterback Cam Newton at the Pro Bowl.
The Eagles reportedly are looking to deal the three-time Pro Bowler for as little as a third-round pick, so nothing is off the board at this point.
Let's deal with facts first. As Britt wrapped up Friday's visit with the Buffalo Bills, he told reporters he was "probably headed out to Carolina."
"Not too sure," he said. "Just waiting for my agent to call me and let me know."
The Panthers signed Pittsburgh free agent Jerricho Cotchery on Thursday and Tampa Bay's Tiquan Underwood on Friday. Of the two, Cotchery at best is a No. 2 receiver.
Carolina is trying to replace its top four receivers from last season. All-time leading receiver Steve Smith was released and the other three were lost in free agency.
Britt, the 30th overall pick of the 2009 draft out of Rutgers, doesn't fit criteria of a No. 1 receiver. He's never caught more than 45 passes in a season, and he is coming off a career-worst 11 catches for 96 yards this past season.
While he might fit in the category of bargains that general manager Dave Gettleman is seeking, his troubled past could be a factor for a team that has avoided such players in the past.
Britt has had a reported nine involvements with police since entering the NFL. They range from a car chase, driving under the influence, a lawsuit over his alleged role in a bar fight and charges for resisting arrest after he was confronted police for suspected marijuana possession.
Perhaps a strong locker room at Carolina could help keep him straight.
Britt told reporters in Buffalo he hopes to make a decision soon.
"Throughout this weekend, me and my wife [are] going to sit down and we're going to talk about it, what's hopefully best for us and me mentally as I go through this process," he said. "Hopefully, the next few days."
Now back to Jackson. He's scheduled to make $10.25 million this year and he has $30.5 million left on a five-year deal. The Panthers are in no position to pay him that much unless they get really creative with the contracts of other players.
So unless Jackson wants to play with Newton so badly he will take a huge pay cut, and unless the Panthers want Jackson so badly they will shuffle money around until they can make this work, I don't see this happening.