Updated: March 23, 2014, 5:56 PM ET
Jeff Legwold | ESPN.com
ORLANDO, Fla. — New York Jets owner Woody Johnson said Sunday his team would have interest in Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson, either by trade or if Jackson were to be released.
Amid wide speculation about Jackson’s future with the Eagles that has swirled in recent weeks, Johnson was asked if his team would be interested in the wide receiver.
“We’re looking at a number of players, including DeSean,” Johnson said. “He’s a very good player. We’re looking at a number of them. Trade’s not our primary operating motif right now. We’re trying to build through the draft. Building through the draft is something that is the way to build a successful team long-term.”
Johnson was then asked if the Jets would have interest if the Eagles released Jackson.
“We’re always interested in talent,” Johnson said. “If it’s somebody that fits into our locker room and understands that he can fit into our culture at a price we can afford, that we feel is appropriate, then we’d do it.”
While it is rare for a team official, especially a team owner, to publicly comment on a player who is currently under contract with another team, Johnson made his comments at the site of the league meetings, which formally open Monday morning.
Technically, by the letter of the rule, Johnson’s comments could be considered tampering. Reports of the Eagles’ willingness to trade Jackson have circulated even before the opening of free agency earlier this month.
Jackson is set to earn $10.5 million in salary in 2014 and is set to count $12.5 million against the salary cap. Any team which acquired Jackson in a trade would have to honor the contract upon his arrival and would need the salary cap room to accept the deal before a re-negotiation could take place.
The 27-year-old Jackson has averaged 17.2 yards per catch in his career and has had seven career 150-yard receiving games. He signed a five-year, $47 million extension with the Eagles in 2012.
Covered Broncos for nine years for Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News
Previously covered Steelers, Bills and Titans
Member of Pro Football Hall of Fame Boardof Selectors since 1999