6 free agents Steelers should break the bank for in 2022
By Andrew Falce
Steelers must sign Jackson
A name that almost every fan has underlined right now, it will be interesting to see what the Patriots do with J.C. Jackson. While seen as one of, if not the, best young corners in the game, the Patriots are notorious for allowing their players to test free agency. Jackson would almost certainly kick start a bidding war if he hits the market, and it should be a bidding war the Steelers enter into.
Jackson was undrafted out of Maryland due to off-the-field concerns, but those issues have seemed to have alleviated themselves. His play, on the other hand, has been consistently great. As a man cornerback, Jackson is consistently graded out as one of the top options in the whole league. The worst quarterback rating that he has ever given up is 66.5 in 2020.
Better yet, Jackson has a knack for taking the ball away. He has an absurd 17 interceptions over his past two seasons and has recorded 25 total in his young career. Not only is he shutting down opposing receivers, but he is also making quarterbacks pay when they test him in coverage. At only 27 years old, there is a real chance Jackson continues playing at this high of a level for another three-five seasons.
The only blemish on Jackson’s record is his tackling, which isn’t great overall. He seems to be more focused on preserving himself for coverage plays which would have to be changed if he were signed. As well, his contract should end up resetting the cornerback market as he will get well over 20 million a season. While that is a lot of money for one player, Jackson would easily be the best free agent to ever sign talent-wise. The Steelers would be adding an elite secondary member if they targeted Jackson. It would be well worth the money.
While the Steelers don’t have as much cap space as some seem to think, they should have more than enough to add a few key free agents. While this team rarely breaks the bank, one or two of these six names could change that. Keep them in mind as the Steelers prepare to enter free agency.