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Adoree’ Jackson had his fifth-year option picked up by the Titans last offseason, but Tennessee has shockingly decided to rescind it, thus making him a free agent on Tuesday. It’s a cap-saving move for the Titans, who could be gearing up for a splash in free agency, but releasing the former first-round pick comes as a big surprise.
Jackson has had an up-and-down career thus far with the Titans, battling through injuries in the last two seasons, but he’s a playmaker in the secondary and on special teams when healthy. If Troy Hill doesn’t re-sign with Los Angeles, the Rams will need help at both cornerback and in the return game – holes Jackson could potentially fill.
To make things even more interesting, Jackson said four years ago before a December game against the L.A. that he always dreamed of playing for the Rams. Why? Because he went to Junipero Serra in Gardena, Calif., and played his college ball at USC.
The Rams are his hometown team, so he grew up wanting to play for them.
“It will be strange because I always wanted to play for them growing up as a kid,” Jackson said via the LA Times before the Titans played the Rams in 2017. “But being able to play against them is one of those things that’s pretty cool.”
Jackson said back in 2017 that he wanted to do a jersey swap with a Rams player so he could get one of their jerseys, which he did; he and Robert Woods swapped uniforms.
(AP Photo/James Kenney)
The Rams have limited cap space to work with, but they began restructuring deals on Tuesday to get under the cap before Wednesday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline. They can also restructure or extend Matthew Stafford’s contract when it becomes official tomorrow, giving them even more flexibility.
They have holes to fill and probably won’t go all in for one position, but Jackson might be willing to take a hometown discount to return to Southern California. If that were the case, and he’d take a two- or three-year deal worth around $10 million per season, the Rams should consider it.
He can even line up on offense, doing so a few times with the Titans. You don’t think Sean McVay could find a role for him in some fashion?
In 2018, his last season fully healthy, Jackson allowed only 65 completions on 115 targets, a rate of 56.5%. He did allow six touchdowns in coverage, but his passer rating against was just 89.4. That number jumped to 94.3 in 2019 and 145.8 last season, but his passer rating allowed last year was in just three games.
Since 2018, only three cornerbacks have a higher coverage grade than Jackson when lined up outside, per PFF.
His recent drop-off in production and injury troubles are concerning, but the Rams could use a speedy return specialist and help in the secondary – even after retaining Darious Williams. Jackson would give the Rams another piece at cornerback to go along with Jalen Ramsey and Williams, preventing David Long Jr. from potentially being forced into the starting lineup.
There are other (cheaper) options out there at cornerback, particularly in the draft, but Jackson can help the Rams in two areas.