It’s only been a few weeks, but the Carolina Panthers appear to be eyeing a controversial replacement to Steve Smith. Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said his team would be interested in signing former Philadelphia Eagle Desean Jackson.
"We'd be interested. He's an intriguing player and we'll take a look at him,'' Rivera told USA TODAY Sports from the West Coast. "I just got word and this is surprising to hear. He's an explosive player who has great vertical speed and is strong going to the ball."
Rivera’s statement came minutes after the Eagles abruptly released Jackson on Friday. His released followed an NJ.com article that alleged the team was uncomfortable receiving reports that the receiver had ties to a Los Angeles street gang.
Jackson denied those rumors after being dismissed.
"I would like to address the misleading and unfounded reports that my release has anything to do with any affiliation that has been speculated surrounding the company I keep off of the field. I would like to make it very clear that I am not and never have been part of any gang. I am not a gang member and to speculate and assume that I am involved in such activity off the field is reckless and irresponsible.
Jackson, 27, is coming off an 82-catch, 1,332-yard, 9-touchdown season.