The New York Giants are set to embark on their most important offseason in recent memory. The decisions made by general manager Dave Gettleman this spring will be critical in determining whether Big Blue can continue confidently on their current path, or if they’ll have to press the reset button once again. With that in mind, let’s examine the potential free agents that could propel this team to playoff contention.
Next up, let’s take a look at Cincinnati Bengals cornerback William Jackson III.
Jackson was selected 24th overall by Cincinnati in the 2016 NFL Draft. He missed his entire rookie season with a torn pectoral muscle, but has played 59 out of a possible 64 games in the four years since. The University of Houston product became a full-time starter by 2018. He’s yet to allow a completion percentage of 60 or above. According to Pro Football Focus, Jackson has graded above 70 in two of his last three seasons, but did earn a poor 53.6 grade in 2019.
Latest Giants News
Jackson’s ball skills do leave a lot to be desired. He only has three interceptions in his career thus far. He has shown an ability to get his hands on the ball, with 41 career pass breakups. Overall, though, playmaking hasn’t proven to be one of Jackson’s strong suits.
The six-foot, 196-pound Jackson is a solid all-around cornerback, similar to what New York already has in James Bradberry. His length and athleticism allows him to be sticky in man coverage, and he has the wherewithal to excel in zone as well. That type of scheme-flexibility would appeal to Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, who likes to get creative in his coverage looks. The addition of Jackson, to go along with Bradberry and Big Blue’s deep stable of safeties, would give the Giants one of the league’s best secondaries.
Spotrac estimates Jackson’s market value at $6.3 million annually, which is entirely too low. A starting-caliber corner like him should garner offers in the mid-to-low-teens at least. The Giants would probably have to give him a contract maybe just a bit cheaper than the one they gave Bradberry ($14.5 per year) last offseason.
Should the Giants be Interested?
Yes, depending on what else they do in free agency. If New York splurges on a big-money player like Allen Robinson, for instance, then they probably couldn’t afford Jackson too. But if Gettleman decides not to shop at the top of the market, Jackson would make for really nice second-tier option, and would allow New York to round out the roster with some other bargain free agents. The Giants depth chart right now is screaming for a second outside cornerback, and Jackson would fill that position more than capably.