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NFL rumors: Panthers not interested in Eagles WR DeSean Jackson even if released

Though talented, DeSean Jackson presents similar characteristics the Panthers ditched by releasing Steve Smith. Though talented, DeSean Jackson presents similar characteristics to recently released wideout Steve Smith. (Mike Roemer/AP)

The DeSean Jackson saga continues to play out as the NFL owners meetings occur in Orlando. The Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver has quickly gone from being a significant part of the team's plans in 2014 to a player expected to be traded or released before the 2014 draft.

A handful of teams have expressed interest in Jackson, but one team who is not expected to pursue the former 2008 second-round pick is one of the most wide receiver needy teams in the league.

According to ESPN's Carolina Panthers reporter David Newton, the Panthers won't have interest in Jackson even if the Eagles release him.

Although Carolina is certainly in need of wide receivers after the departures of Steve Smith, Brandon Lafell and Ted Ginn, the Panthers released Smith in part because he was a distraction and carried a large salary. Jackson could present a similar circumstance, albeit in a younger package.

Rather than opening the check book and bringing in another receiver that carries the diva label, the Panthers will likely focus on rebuilding their receiving corp through the NFL draft, where they could land a player with a similar skill set to Jackson's in Oregon State wide receiver Brandin Cooks.

SI WIRE: Jets owner: Team interested in DeSean Jackson 'at right price'

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