Did Woody Johnson Tamper with DeSean Jackson?

Did the owner of the New York Jets break any rules?

Yesterday, Woody Johnson was asked about DeSean Jackson and said that the team likes what he can offer and that the New York Jets are interested in acquiring his services. The problem? Jackson is still under contract with the Philadelphia Eagles. From the NFL Anti-Tampering Policy:

Public/Private Statements. Any public or private statement of interest, qualified or unqualified, in another club's player to that player's agent or representative, or to a member of the news media, is a violation of this Anti-Tampering Policy. (Example of a prohibited comment: "He's an excellent player, and we'd very much like to have him if he were available, but another club holds his rights.") All clubs should be aware that improper disclosure of confidential trade discussions with another club may be a violation of this section on prohibited public statements.

By saying that the team is interested in Jackson at the right price, if he would fit into the locker room, etc., this is a clear violation of the anti-tampering policy. However, would it matter?

For the NFL to do anything, the Eagles would have to file a grievance with the league. Consider the fact, however, that Eric Allen violated the policy several days ago and the Eagles haven't said a peep. Also consider the report that the Jets have inquired with Jackson into whether or not he'd be willing to restructure his contract, and it seems that they were given permission to do so by the Eagles. Finally, consider that the point of what Johnson said was that they are interested in a trade, which is in the Eagles' best interest. If they were to file a grievance, why would the Jets, their best suitor, deal with them again?

In the end, the worst case scenario is likely the team being docked a late round pick. That's what happened to the Detroit Lions several years ago. More likely, nothing will happen, and much ado is being made about nothing.

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