Josh Jackson

NFC West Rumors: 49ers, Cardinals, Metcalf

Not long ago, we wrote about the 49ers’ cornerback depth chart, claiming Charvarius Ward and Emmanuel Moseley were the starting outside corners this spring with Darqueze Dennard and rookie fifth-round pick Samuel Womack competing for the the starting nickel cornerback job, while second-year defender Ambry Thomas slots in as the No. 3 corner on the outside.

A slight alternative to the starting scenarios was proposed earlier this week by Cam Inman of The San Jose Mercury News. He agrees that Dennard and Womack seem to be going head-to-head for the nickel-back role, but posits that, should neither cornerback seize the starting opportunity, San Francisco could formulate a rotation that would see Moseley shift inside and Thomas come in to cover the outside.

If Dennard and Womack can’t convince the coaches that they’re more valuable to have on the field than Thomas, the above situation could unfold. It makes sense that the 49ers would want the best three defenders on the field and could utilize other cornerback combinations to take advantage of specific matchups.

Here are a couple of other rumors from out of the NFC West, starting with a note out of Glendale:

  • A little over two weeks ago, the Cardinals signed two former Chiefs’ defenders in cornerback Josh Jackson and linebacker Ben Niemann. The two have had diametrically contradicting career paths with the former second-round pick, Jackson, slowly falling into obscurity while the former undrafted free agent, Niemann has earned more and more responsibility each year he’s been in the league. Both of their contracts, though, will be worth the league minimum, according to Sports Illustrated’s Howard Balzer. While that’s a hard pill to swallow for Jackson after the high expectations that came with his draft position, Niemann is likely grateful to be heading into his fifth year of NFL football for the second team to give him an opportunity after initially going undrafted.
  • Seahawks wide receiver D.K. Metcalf has been pushing the organization for a new contract lately. The 24-year-old is set to head into the last year of his rookie contract and, while he does want to get paid, he’s also providing the Seahawks a head start on the rest of the league on what would be his eventual free agency. While Metcalf is looking at recent deals like that of his former college teammate, A.J. Brown, the absolute floor of Metcalf’s hypothetical extension was set this week when the Commanders extended star receiver Terry McLaurin, Doug Kyed of Pro Football Focus writes. Kyed justifies the opinion, saying that, while PFF grades Metcalf slightly lower than McLaurin, Metcalf is over two years younger and has produced at a slightly higher level than McLaurin over their first three years in the league. Whether or not Metcalf undoubtedly deserves more than McLaurin, McLaurin’s new deal sets an intriguing bar as extension talks continue in Seattle.

Cardinals Sign Josh Jackson, Ben Niemann

After working out with the Cardinals during their minicamp this week, cornerback Josh Jackson and linebacker Ben Niemann landed spots on the team’s 90-man offseason roster. The team announced the signings Thursday afternoon.

Kliff Kingsbury indicated earlier this month the Cardinals would pursue veteran corners. That comment came not long after the news offseason addition Jeff Gladney died in a car accident May 30.

The Cardinals will be Jackson’s fourth team. The former second-round Packers draftee spent last year with the Giants, who acquired him from the Packers via trade, and the Chiefs, who gave Jackson a practice squad spot after the Giants waived him midseason. The Chiefs used Jackson in two regular-season games as well. The Iowa product’s NFL stock has dropped considerably, but he will have an opportunity to catch on with a Cards team light at corner.

Jackson, 26, started 10 games with Green Bay as a rookie in 2018 but has lined up as a first-stringer in only five contests since. He allowed a whopping 86% of the passes thrown his way to be completed in 2019, with that figure only dropping to 74% in 2020. The Packers, who drafted Eric Stokes in the 2021 first round, moved on via the trade — a straight-up swap for corner Isaac Yiadom. Jackson did not see any regular-season time with the Giants.

Niemann joined Jackson on the 2021 Chiefs and played for Kansas City throughout his rookie contract. The Chiefs used Niemann as a five-game starter in each of the past two seasons. While he did not start any of Kansas City’s playoff contests during his four-year Missouri run, the former UDFA played in each postseason game. Niemann, 27 in July, and Jackson were Hawkeyes teammates.

Arizona, which waived safety Javon Hagan on Thursday as well, has questions at corner beyond top cover man Byron Murphy. It would not surprise if the Cards signed a starter-caliber corner ahead of training camp. The team has first-rounders Isaiah Simmons and Zaven Collins stationed at linebacker, with the latter ticketed to start after the team’s Jordan Hicks release. The Cards did not draft an off-ball linebacker this year but have Tanner Vallejo, Joe Walker and seventh-year vet Nick Vigil rostered.

Cardinals Work Out RB Justin Jackson, CB Josh Jackson

Among the players currently with the Cardinals on a tryout basis are a pair who share the same last name. Running back Justin Jackson and cornerback Josh Jackson have been in Arizona during the team’s minicamp, as noted by team reporter Darren Urban (Twitter link). 

The former was a seventh-round pick of the Chargers in 2018. His workload remained consistent throughout his time there, never averaging more than six carries per game. Not surprisingly, his rushing totals remained almost identical for his first three seasons, though he had a career-year in 2021.

Playing in 14 games last year, the Northwestern alum totalled 364 rushing yards and two touchdowns, averaging 5.4 yards per carry along the way. He added 187 yards in the passing game, to give him a new mark in scrimmage yards (542 yards). That wasn’t enough to earn him a second contract from Los Angeles, however; the team still has Joshua Kelly as a backup to Austin Ekelerand drafted Isaiah Spiller in the fourth round this year.

In Arizona, Jackson would join a backfield which lost Chase Edmonds in free agency, but still includes 2021 starter James Conner. The Cardinals have also signed Darrell Williams and added Keaontay Ingram in the draft, so Jackson would again face healthy competition for carries.

As for the other Jackson, who was also a 2018 draftee, a deal with Arizona would lead him to his fourth career team. A second round pick of the Packers, he played in Green Bay for the first three seasons of his NFL tenure, totalling 86 tackles and 12 passes defensed. Last August, he was traded to the Giants for fellow corner Isaac Yiadom.

The Iowa product didn’t see any playing time in New York, however, and was ultimately waived in October. He was quickly signed onto Kanas City’s practice squad, and ended up making two appearances with the Chiefs. Like his namesake, Jackson could find a depth role on the Cardinals’ roster to fill out their CB room.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 1/18/22

Today’s taxi squad moves:

Cincinnati Bengals

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Rams

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 1/4/22-1/5/22

Here are Tuesday and Wednesday’s activations from and placements on the reserve/COVID-19 lists:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: TE Jared Cook, LB Damon Lloyd (remains on IR)

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/25-12/26/21

Here are the NFL moves from Christmas and today:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

New England Patriots

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Football Team

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/11/21

Here is how teams finalized their Week 14 rosters:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Giants, Josh Jackson Rework Deal

Giants cornerback Josh Jackson has agreed to revise the final year of his rookie contract (Twitter link via Field Yates of ESPN.com). Now, he’ll earn a base salary of $920K, down from his previously scheduled $1.33M. 

The Giants were nearing the cap limit, so Jackson’s revamped pact will give them some much needed breathing room. It’s also possible that Jackson would have been released if he didn’t agree to the new terms.

Jackson, 25, was widely projected to be a mid-to-late first rounder in 2018. Instead, the Big Ten defensive back of the year slipped to the middle of the second round, where the Packers pounced on him at No. 45. He’s yet to break out as a pro, however. The Packers shipped him to the Giants in mid-August, taking on cornerback Isaac Yiadom instead.

Jackson started in more than half of his games as a rookie, but he was first-string for only five contests between 2019 and 2020. Now, in his walk year, he’ll fight for time behind starters James Bradberry and Adoree Jackson.

Giants Trade Isaac Yiadom To Packers

The Giants have agreed to trade Isaac Yiadom to the Packers in exchange for fellow corner Josh Jackson (Twitter link via Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com).

Yiadom, 25, has now been traded twice inside of one year. The Giants acquired him from the Broncos in 2020 and went on to start him in ten games. He finished out the year with 46 stops, five pass breakups, one forced fumble, and a half of a sack. After the season, he agreed to a pay cut for 2021 — he’s now set to make $1.07MM this year instead of a non-guaranteed $2.15MM.

Jackson, also 25, was widely projected to be a mid-to-late first rounder in 2018. Instead, the Big Ten defensive back of the year slipped to the middle of the second round, where the Packers pounced on him at No. 45. He’s yet to break out as a pro, however. After starting in more than half of his games as a rookie, Jackson was first-string for only five contests between 2019 and 2020. Now, on the cusp of his walk year, he’ll have a chance to prove himself in New York.