The Hawks tried to pry tight ends free from Denver and Cleveland in the Harvin deal, but neither Julius Thomas nor Jordan Cameron could be had.
They reportedly are still in the market for a tight end and/or pass rusher, and they also reportedly have checked into what it would take to acquire Tampa Bay receiver Vincent Jackson. The Bucs reportedly want a second-round pick for the 6-foot-5 pass catcher, who would cost $5.3 million this season and $9.8 million in each of the next two years — if he was not let go before.
The Hawks saved $7.1 million this year in the Harvin deal, so they could absorb the rest of Jackson’s salary and still have a little left to roll over to 2015. But they then would have to decide whether to pay Jackson nearly $10 million next season — Harvin was due $10.5 million and will still count $7.2 million — or alter his contract or release him.
This is the second time the Hawks reportedly have checked into trading for Jackson. They called San Diego about him in 2011.
Adding Jackson likely would set back the expected development of rookies Paul Richardson and Kevin Norwood, who are getting more playing time now that Harvin is gone (and this week because Bryan Walters is out).
We’ve made it clear many times that we are not a fan of Jackson or of paying big money to wide receivers. Let’s hope the Hawks have finally learned their lesson.
As for tight ends, the Hawks have been trying to bolster the position since Zach Miller had ankle surgery. He is likely out for at least another couple of weeks. He traveled with the team to North Carolina so he could see a doctor.
Luke Willson is expected to play today, with Cooper Helfet as the No. 2 tight end a week after having a pretty good game as the starter.
With a number of tight ends around the league injured, it seems unlikely the Hawks would find anyone worth trading for.
The pass rush has been a weakness this season as the Hawks have missed Clinton McDonald and Chris Clemons. The only name floating out there is defensive tackle Kendall Langford of the Rams, but it is hard to see the division rivals making that deal.