The Washington Football Team has found a replacement for Ronald Darby.
Just a day after Darby signed a three-year deal worth $30 million with the Denver Broncos, Washington moved quickly to add a replacement for him on the outside.
According to multiple reports, William Jackson III will be signing with Washington. And according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Jackson’s deal will be for three years and it will be worth up to $42 million.
Jackson should be a good replacement for Darby. The former first-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals has been a solid starter during his career and should pair well with Kendall Fuller long-term.
William Jackson III looks like a solid get for the Washington Football Team.
He is getting paid $14 million a year, which is $1 million less annually than Shaq Griffin, the top cornerback on the free-agent market, and Jackson is only getting $6 million more in guarantees than Darby. That sounds about right for the 28-year-old who can serve as a good No. 1 corner.
Jackson has been a productive starter for the Bengals. He missed his rookie year with a knee injury, but in the four years since then, he has missed just five total games. He has averaged over 10 pass breakups per year and had a career-high 45 tackles last year in Cincy.
Speaking of last year, Jackson was a bright spot on an otherwise bad Bengals defense. He was targeted 69 times, the 40th-most in the NFL, but he allowed just 36 catches, tied for 62nd-most in the league. He makes plays on the ball, plays solid, sticky coverage, and he should benefit from playing across from Fuller and behind a stellar pass rush.
Jackson is in his prime. He has a better track record of staying healthy than Darby and only cost $6 million more in guarantees (and up to just $12 million more in total). This was a good move by Washington and it should continue to strengthen the back end of their defense.
Now, they can shift their focus to the offensive side of the ball and hopefully add some weapons around Ryan Fitzpatrick, Taylor Heinicke, and Kyle Allen.