PFF: Bengals CB is free agent Cardinals should sign in offseason

Jess Root
·2 min read

The Arizona Cardinals enter the offseason with major questions at cornerback, as four of the players on their roster at the position will be free agents. It is their greatest position of need.

In free agency, they will have to do something.

If there is one move they should make, according to Pro Football Focus, it should be a cornerback. In particular, in PFF’s article matching a free agent to each team in the league as the player they should target, Arizona should add a Cincinnati Bengals cornerback for the second year in a row.

Their match is Bengals cornerback William Jackson.

Arizona’s offense stalled this season, but with young pieces in place, we expect it to improve without major additions in 2021. The Cardinals could certainly upgrade at receiver in free agency or the draft, but their biggest need is at cornerback, and this is a far more sparsely populated free agent group at that position.

William Jackson III is the obvious choice with a combination of age on his side, talent and history of quality play. His first season of playing time (2017) was one of the greatest statistical campaigns we have seen from a corner before his play faded away, but for his career, he has allowed just 52% of passes thrown his way to be caught for an 85.3 passer rating.

Jackson was a first-round pick in 2017 and played opposite Dre Kirkpatrick, who played for the Cardinals in 2020, for three seasons. He has one interception in three of his four seasons in the league. He had 11 pass breakups in 2020 but started his career with 27 in two seasons.

Signing Jackson would likely mean moving on from Patrick Peterson. Pairing Jackson with Byron Murphy would give the Cardinals a solid pair of corners.

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