The NFL owners meetings get started this week, and all the big names are arriving in Orlando today. Trent Baalke and Jim Harbaugh are both in town, and it sounds like they're not in fact communicating via email!
The first piece of "news" to come out of this is that the 49ers claim they have not in fact contacted the Philadelphia Eagles about wide receiver DeSean Jackson. Trent Baalke apparently spoke with some media on Sunday, with Matt Maiocco reporting his denial of the trade rumors:
"Right now, he's under contract with the Philadelphia Eagles," Baalke said Sunday. "We've not made any contact with the Eagles relative to a trade for DeSean Jackson."
"As of this moment, those reports are totally misleading and false," Baalke said.
This is the first unequivocal denial of the DeSean Jackson trade rumors that have circled around the 49ers and other teams. CSN Philly first reported the 49ers and Patriots had inquired, and Jason LaCanfora followed up with his own report that the 49ers and Seahawks had looked into it.
This denial would seem to add weight to the idea that those rumors are being pushed by either the Philadelphia Eagles or DeSean Jackson's agent. There have also been rumors that the Eagles would release Jackson if they could not get a trade done. Jackson fired Drew Rosenhaus last year, and hired Joel Segal. At this point, Segal benefits from any new deal Jackson negotiates. If he is traded, his new team likely would need to re-work his deal. And of course, if Jackson is released, obviously he would be working out a new contract somewhere.
The rumors have been entertaining, but it seems pretty clear that LaCanfora and CSN Philly have just been getting used by the Eagles and/or Jackson's agent. That's often how these kinds of situations play out. We saw it with PFT and the Browns/Harbaugh crap, and we'll see it well into the future whenever these kinds of big name rumors surface.
Maiocco also had a great quote from Baalke about the idea of being "one player away" in the climb to the Super Bowl. Baalke said he does not buy into the notion of "one player away" because so much can happen, particularly with injuries. You could argue we sort of saw that last year. The 49ers acquired Anquan Boldin, in a move many thought would put them over the top. Unfortunately, Michael Crabtree tore his Achilles not too long after, and as Baalke said, "you're back to square one". It's a reason I think patience remains a virtue in the world of player acquisition.