Dec 15, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson (10) carries the ball during the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Vikings defeated the Eagles 48-30. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN's John Clayton Says Chiefs In Running For DeSean Jackson [UPDATE]

Apparently the chances of the Chiefs landing DeSean Jackson are not as far-fetched as one would think. John Clayton was a guest on 610 AM’s The Drive this afternoon and said he’d put his money on the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs being the two teams with the best shot at landing Jackson.

Clayton named the Jets and Chiefs as the likely destinations because of their familiarity with Jackson. New offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg has already vouched for Jackson, according to Clayton, and the Chiefs have Jackson ties with Andy Reid, offensive coordinator Doug Pederson, and wide receivers/assistant head coach David Culley. This would take away some of the concerns coming out this afternoon about Jackson’s potential gang connections as it would mean Reid vetted and vouched for Jackson.

Clayton also said he thinks Kansas City is the team most likely to give a long-term commitment to Jackson because of their need at wide receiver and because of Reid’s relationship with Jackson. A longer contract means the Chiefs have more flexibility to distribute guaranteed money, which could help should a bidding war arise. The Jets’ recent signing of Eric Decker may prevent them from spending big money or going long-term on Jackson.

There shouldn’t be too many concerns about the salary cap should the Chiefs be able to land Jackson. We talked earlier today about how his contract can be structured in a way to fits KC’s cap needs. Terez A. Paylor added to the discussion on Twitter saying the Chiefs could save up to $9.5 million in cap space as early as next year by cutting Dwayne Bowe.

This tweet emphasizes how much cap flexibility the Chiefs have in the short and long term when it comes to creating a contract for Jackson. With the growing cap limits and because the Chiefs did not overspend during the initial wave of free agency, Kansas City should be able to keep Bowe, sign Jackson, and hold onto players like Justin Houston and Eric Berry.

The question now is how much does Jackson want to come to Kansas City? The money should be there no matter where he goes, it’s just a matter of if New York or potentially Oakland (Jackson is from LA) is more appealing to him. One would think we should find out sooner than later.

UPDATE:

Add Yahoo! to the list of sources who say the Chiefs are in on Jackson.

 

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