The NOLA Saints continue to find themselves in cap hell year after year but if they’re willing to, once again, figure things out financially to make some moves this offseason, J.C. Jackson is someone who could make sense. Pro Football Focus ranked the top 75 pending free agents and Jackson was No. 17 and someone they linked to the Saints.
"Jackson was the second fiddle to Stephon Gilmore in New England for much of his career, but he’s still handled his fair share of tough, man-coverage assignments in Bill Belichick’s defense. He’s been one of the position’s best playmakers in that role, rarely squandering an interception opportunity. Dallas and New Orleans stand out as potential non-Patriots landing spots if they’re able to make things work financially."
Jackson, a former undrafted free agent out of Maryland, joined the Patriots in 2018 and by year two in New England, he appeared in every single regular season game, which is something he repeated last year while also making 11 starts.
This year, Jackson has started all 13 games he’s played in and has 44 tackles, 17 passes defended, and a whopping seven interceptions (returning one of those for a touchdown). As the PFF blurb mentions, Jackson was behind Stephon Gilmore but with Gilmore off to Carolina, it opened things up for Jackson to shine more and shine he has.
Jackson is in line to get a nice contract this offseason and if he doesn’t re-sign with New England, the Saints could be an option to bring him in. While I understand the idea of signing talented players, cornerback might not be a need for this team. They have Paulson Adebo, Marshon Lattimore, and Bradley Roby under contract for next year, giving them three solid options at the position.
J.C. Jackson would thrive with NOLA Saints but it’s not a realistic signing
No one would be upset at the team inking Jackson to a deal but cornerback isn’t a necessity this offseason. Also, Jackson is going to be an expensive acquisition and the Saints aren’t swimming in cash.
It’s good to see PFF think the Saints will be in on some of the top free agents this offseason but I’d rather NOLA focus on re-signing guys like Marcus Williams and Terron Armstead than sink a lot of money elsewhere.