Is Jackson Looking East?
June 16 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
A few months ago, Willie Jackson was calling the 49ers twice weekly to try and land himself a job. Now he appears to be turning down their rough proposals. Jackson is the lone free agent left that the 49ers would really like to land on their roster - they could look elsewhere if they canít secure Jackson, but would prefer not to.
Jackson wants guaranteed play time. He wants to be the second receiver on the depth charts, and those are two things the 49ers simply canít promise him. While money is certainly an issue, itís play time Jackson wants, and it appears that since the 49ers canít guarantee him that time, that he may just wind up playing on a team without his brother again.
The Washington Redskins seem to be showing a fair bit on interest, and the 49ers likely wonít be able to match their offer. Itís not that the 49ers are lacking salary cap room - they are not, but itís that in Washington, Jackson would most likely be the number two receiver, and that means he gets more play time. In San Francisco, Jackson would have to beat out Stokes.
Itís still possible Jackson is using Washington for leverage, if his preference is really to be with the 49ers. If that is his intentions, it likely wonít work very well. Terry Donahue has a set salary cap plan that he is unwilling to deviate from. If the team canít land Jackson there are some interesting prospects out there. Antonio Freeman is certainly one of them, but so is Michael Westbrook, and Herman Moore. Of course, the 49ers could just leave their receivers in tact, especially with the encouraging news on Tai Streets and Cederick Wilson this off-season.