The Washington Commanders sadly didn’t play a part in what was a historic trade deadline in terms of number of players who were dealt on deadline day, but they did make waves by trading William Jackson at the eleventh hour after it was reported they were likely to release the cornerback if they couldn’t find a buyer.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler is as reliable as they come, so the fact the injury-riddled Steelers swooped in with an offer was genuinely surprising and perhaps an indicator that they didn’t want to risk losing Jackson to the waiver wire.
There’s plenty of time to discuss how much Washington botched the Jackson signing. Right now, though, the veteran’s departure leaves the defense with a big hole at cornerback; one that the front office should be incentivized to fill.
By trading Jackson, the Commanders have $7.296 million in cap space — plenty of money to browse the free agent cornerback market.
3 William Jackson replacements Commanders need to sign
3. Kevin King
At 6-foot-3, King would give the Commanders another lanky cornerback alongside Benjamin St-Juste. Like the budding second-year talent, King has experience playing on the boundary and in the nickel. That versatility will play with Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio, who like to throw offenses different looks in games.
King fell out of favor in Green Bay, but he and Rasul Douglas did wonders filling in for injured All-Pro Jaire Alexander last season. In 10 games, the former second-round pick compiled a 70.6 player grade from Pro Football Focus. He also earned a 72.0 pass-rush grade and a 70.6 run defense grade.
In coverage, King was solid, allowing 19 catches on 26 targets and didn’t allow more than 80 receiving yards in a single game. For context, Jackson eclipsed the 80-yard threshold once in four games this season (Week 2 vs the Lions).
King isn’t a perfect player, but he’s one of the best remaining cornerbacks on the market and Washington (should be) desperate to get someone else in so Rachad Wildgoose, who’s fallen off after a hot start, doesn’t have to keep logging significant snaps every week.