WFT makes big move to add Jackson, maybe the best CB on market


The Washington Football Team lost cornerback Ronald Darby to free agency on Monday, but on Tuesday, Ron Rivera made a big swing by signing arguably the best free agent corner on the market in William Jackson III, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Washington.

The dollar figures are significant because the talent is significant. A first-round pick in 2016, Jackson will turn 29 in October. 

Pro Football Focus ranked him as the 8th best free agent available in 2021, just one spot behind Bucs pass rusher Shaq Barrett, who recently signed a four-year, $72 million contract.

From PFF:

While Jackson hasn’t been able to replicate his success as a sophomore in 2017, he has still been one of the top outside cornerbacks in the game. He has finished as one of the 25 most valuable players at the position in three of his four seasons and is 12th among outside corners in coverage grade since 2017.

For Washington, the move solidifies a questionable secondary that already lost a starting corner in free agency. Now Jackson can pair with Kendall Fuller and Kam Curl as top line defensive backs, and the team has more flexibility to draft or make other moves in free agency.

Combine that back-end of the defense with an impressive pass rush, and Washington's defense might be even better in 2021 than it was in 2020. That must sound quite interesting for Washington fans, and Ron Rivera.

Download and subscribe to the Washington Football Talk podcast

In five seasons with the Bengals, Jackson has registered three interceptions to go with 150 tackles and 41 passes defensed. He's considered an elite outside corner that can contain opposing offenses top receiver.


A Texas native, Jackson missed his rookie season in 2016 with injuries after playing his college ball at the University of Houston.