William Jackson III

Bengals Rejected Trades For William Jackson III

With one year left on his contract, Bengals cornerback William Jackson III is hoping to take off his fantastic blazer and stay a while. The University of Houston product tells Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle that he wants to sign a multi-year extension with the only NFL team he’s ever known.

[RELATED: Bengals’ Jessie Bates Hires New Agent]

They picked up my fifth-year option, so that was a blessing,” said Jackson. “I just go out there and have fun and let everything play out. I love it in Cincinnati. I’m comfortable. They’ve got a great coaching staff and great teammates around me. I would love to come back. Right now, I’m just focused and ready to get the season started. One thing you can control is when people aren’t watching is what you do. I come in, put the work in and it will pay off on Sundays.”

It’s not clear whether the two sides have gotten deep into talks, but they’ve probably been delayed due to the pandemic. It does sound like the Bengals intend to keep him, however. Last year, they picked up the former first-rounder’s fifth-year option for 2020, worth $9.6MM. And, before October’s trade deadline, the Bengals received and rejected trade inquiries on Jackson from other clubs.

The lightning-fast corner was slowed by a shoulder injury towards the end of the year and placed on injured reserve. The recovery was painful, but Jackson says he’s now “fully healthy and ready to go” as he enters his walk year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals To Place William Jackson III On IR

Bengals cornerback William Jackson will finish the year on the injured reserve list. The team is expected to shut Jackson down this week so that he can start rehabbing his injured shoulder, as Geoff Hobson of the team website tweets

Jackson, 27, has recorded 37 stops and one interception in 14 games (13 starts) this season. Unfortunately, the shoulder injury that forced him out of the Bengals’ narrow loss to the Dolphins last week will also keep him from playing in the season finale against the Browns.

Jackson kept a lid on Odell Beckham Jr. in the team’s Week 14 matchup against Cleveland, but the Bengals will have to find coverage help elsewhere as they aim for their second win of 2019. Whether they win or lose, the Bengals will own the No. 1 pick in the 2020 draft, so they have that to look forward to, at least.

Jackson, the No. 24 overall pick in the 2016 draft, is set to play out 2020 on his fifth-year option, which will carry a $9.594MM cap number. His salary is guaranteed for injury, so he’ll be secure regardless of what happens from here.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals Activate CB Darqueze Dennard

After a long hiatus, Darqueze Dennard is ready to return for the Bengals. The team, which re-signed the former first-round cornerback in March, activated him on Friday, Ben Baby of ESPN.com tweets.

Dennard will take Cordy Glenn‘s roster spot, with the Bengals having suspended their left tackle. This will provide a key cornerback reinforcement for the 0-6 team, especially with both Dre Kirkpatrick and William Jackson III out against the Jaguars.

Prior to re-upping with the Bengals, Dennard underwent a left knee surgery that was believed to be minor at the time. But he ended up missing the first six games of the season, due to the stay on Cincinnati’s PUP list.

The Bengals re-signed Dennard, their 2014 first-round pick, to a one-year deal worth $4.5MM. He will now have a chance to make an impression in another contract year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals’ William Jackson To Miss Time

The hits just keep on comin’ for the Bengals. Cornerback William Jackson is expected to miss at least a few weeks with a shoulder injury, a source tells Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter). 

This news comes on the heels of Dre Kirkpatrick‘s knee injury, which will likely cost him a month of time. This also comes on the heels of yet another Bengals loss, dropping them to 0-6 on the year. Meanwhile, the club continues to keep its fingers crossed for wide receiver A.J. Green, who may or may not be a trade candidate leading up to the deadline.

Back to Jackson – the former first-round pick has started in 22 straight games for the Bengals. While he allowed 38 catches last year and doesn’t rank among the league’s top CBs, the Bengals can ill afford to lose a starter at this time.

One silver lining for the Bengals: Darqueze Dennard is set to return from the PUP list. But, even in a best-case scenario, this appears to be a lost season for the Bengals.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals Pick Up William Jackson’s Option

The Bengals have exercised their fifth-year option on cornerback William Jackson, according to a team announcement. The additional year keeps him under control through 2020, though it is guaranteed for injury only. 

Chosen with the No. 24 overall pick in 2016, Jackson missed his entire rookie year due to injury. In his re-do year, he mostly served as a backup. However, he started in all 16 of the Bengals’ games last year and tallied 41 tackles. For his work, Pro Football Focus ranked him as the 26th best cornerback in the entire NFL, despite the fact that he did not record a single interception.

Jackson is just the latest 2016 first-round pick to have his fifth-year option exercised. To keep track of every decision, check out PFR’s running list, which will be updated between now and the May 3 deadline.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals Pick RB Cedric Peerman For Return

The Bengals announced that they have designated running back Cedric Peerman to return. Teams only get one IR-DTR move per season, so today’s news means that we will not see rookie cornerback William Jackson III take the field this season. Cedric Peerman (Vertical)

So far this year, the Bengals’ secondary has been lackluster, leading some to believe that Jackson would get the nod. However, the team is also hurting in the third facet of the game. Peerman is a special teams stalwart for Cincinnati and the Bengals decided that they would benefit more from having him on the field than the young Houston product.

When Rams quarterback Jared Goff made his debut earlier this month, Jackson was the only 2016 first-round pick who was still waiting to take the field. Now, he has solidified the unfortunate distinction. Jackson will turn his focus to 2017 when he hopes to propel the Bengals’ defense with his exceptional speed.

At 3-6-1, the Bengals are not likely to make the playoffs, but they also haven’t been mathematically eliminated. After losing Giovani Bernard for the season and losing A.J. Green for multiple games, the Bengals are sending a message today that they are not giving up on 2016.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC North Notes: Bengals, Jackson III, Ravens

The Bengals haven’t yet made a decision on which player they will bring back from injured reserve, as Katherine Terrell of ESPN.com writes. Cincinnati has two options for IR/return — first-round cornerback William Jackson III and veteran running back Cedric Peerman — and both are “essentially healthy,” per Terrell, meaning the Bengals are simply biding their time before choosing between the two.

“Obviously the first-round pick is an asset, and you want to get him involved,” said head coach Marvin Lewis. “We’ve had him all year since he’s been back from Houston and since the surgery, so to keep him invested in the football team.” The Bengals’ secondary has been below-average, meaning Jackson — who will the only 2016 first-rounder who hasn’t seen the field after Jared Goff starts for the Rams tomorrow — would be a welcome option. But Cincinnati’s sub-par special teams unit is missing its ace in Peerman, making the decision between the pair all the more difficult.

Here’s more on the Bengals and the rest of the AFC North:

  • Defensive tackle Brandon Thompson will return to practice next week, said Lewis, opening a three-week window during which the Bengals can choose to transfer Thompson from the PUP list to the active roster. Thompson suffered a torn ACL in the 2015 season finale after spending the year as a reserve, appearing in nine games and acting as a run-stuffer. If Cincinnati doesn’t opt to active Thompson in the next three weeks, he’ll either need to stay on PUP for the rest of season or be waived.
  • Because Crockett Gillmore is dealing with an injury, the Ravens have continually added a tight end to their practice squad in recent weeks to ensure that they have enough bodies for practice sessions, as Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun notes (all Twitter links). Quarterback David Fales has been the victim in such scenarios, having been repeatedly dropped from the taxi squad to create room for a tight end. That series of transactions will likely end next week, per Zrebiec, as TE Nick Boyle will be eligible to return from a 10-game PED suspension.
  • The Steelers made a number of moves earlier today, placing wide receiver Markus Wheaton and defensive end Cameron Heyward on injured reserve while activating edge rusher Bud Dupree from IR and promoting running back Daryl Richardson from the practice squad.
  • Yesterday, Browns head coach Hue Jackson said it would be a “coup” if Cleveland could retain recently-acquired linebacker Jamie Collins, and also indicated that quarterback Robert Griffin III would begin practicing next week.

Extra Points: Cowboys, Bengals, Rams, Lions

After defensive end Randy Gregory‘s latest slip-up, Babe Laufenberg of The Dallas Morning News hopes that the Cowboys and Jason Garrett realize the best indicator of future behavior is past behavior. In the wake of Gregory’s latest failed drug test, owner Jerry Jones has said that he will not give up on the former second-round pick. Still, Dallas probably would have been better off paying attention to Gregory’s red flags and passing on him in the draft, Laufenberg opines. Many fans have expressed similar sentiments after the Cowboys have dealt with Gregory, Greg Hardy, Rolando McClain, and other failed reclamation projects, but it is hard to argue with the club’s results on the field this season. Teams can often get ahead by taking risks and the 8-1 Cowboys seem to be doing fine despite some miscalculations.

More from around the NFL:

  • With Los Angeles quarterback Jared Goff starting in Week 11, Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter) notes that Bengals cornerback William Jackson III will be the only 2016 first-rounder to not yet play this season. Jackson suffered a torn pectoral muscle over the summer and was placed on IR. It’s possible that the 24th overall pick could return this season, but his status is currently up in the air.
  • Case Keenum, whom Goff is replacing as the Rams’ No. 1 signal-caller, is predictably displeased that he lost his place atop the team’s depth chart. On receiving the news, Keenum said Wednesday, “Honestly, I wasn’t happy. I want to play. That’s why I play football, to be the quarterback and the guy with the ball in his hands” (via Zac Jackson of Pro Football Talk). However, Keenum isn’t going to cause any behind-the-scenes problems for LA. “With that being said I trust Coach (Jeff) Fisher,” he continued. “I trust these coaches and their decision. I’m a captain and I have to do my job. My job is whatever they tell me my job is.”
  • Lions linebacker DeAndre Levy returned to practice Wednesday for the first time since Week 1, per Kyle Meinke of MLive.com. Levy, who has missed 23 of the Lions’ past 25 games, has been dealing with knee and quad injuries this year. While it’s possible the 2014 second-team All-Pro could take the field Sunday against Jacksonville, it’s likelier he’ll suit up on Thanksgiving versus NFC North rival Minnesota, writes Meinke.
  • Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro said he’s playing Thursday night in Carolina, as Josh Katzenstein of The Times-Picayune tweets. This likely means Vaccaro has appealed his four-game ban for Adderall. Players are typically able to suit up while the process plays out.

Sunday NFL Transactions: AFC North

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four AFC North teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the Ravens, Bengals, Browns, and Steelers are noted below.

Additionally, as of 12:00pm CT today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s AFC North transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day. All links go to Twitter unless otherwise noted:

Baltimore Ravens

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Pittsburgh Steelers

Bengals CB William Jackson Suffers Torn Pec

THURSDAY, 11:49am: Bengals coach Marvin Lewis says Jackson could return this season after having surgery to reattach his pec muscle, Albert Breer of The MMQB tweets.

TUESDAY, 12:15pm: Jackson is seeking a second opinion to find out whether he’ll be out for the season or just placed on IR-DTR with the possibility to return, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

11:45am: Bengals first rounder William Jackson III has suffered a torn pectoral muscle, a source tells Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). At minimum, Jackson can be expected to miss a few months as a result of the injury.William Jackson III (vertical)

Jackson, a University of Houston product, turned heads with a 4.37 second 40-yard-dash time at the NFL combine. Jackson not only came with a great deal of promise, but the Bengals were banking on using him as a key cog in their cornerback rotation this year.

Over the last two years at UH, Jackson allowed just 40% of passes thrown his way to be completed. After watching him perform in college and excel at the combine, scouting guru Dave-Te Thomas was high on his potential and cited his aggressiveness as a positive:

Jackson was considered a “lockdown corner” for the Houston Cougars after he appeared in thirteen games and finished second in the American Athletic Conference with ten pass breakups in 2014. He also picked off two passes and tallied 37 tackles. Last season, the All-American led the nation and set a Houston single-season record with 23 pass deflections. He also led the nation in passes defended with 28, finishing 20th with five interceptions. He concluded his career ranked third on the UH career passes broken up chart with 40, despite only playing three seasons.

Some other “good news” numbers include Jackson recording six turnovers and coming up with 22 third-down stops…Jackson is certainly not going to impress you with being a great physical presence on the field, but he does demonstrate excellent speed and jump- ball timing. He is very consistent in being “getting into the face” of a receiver. He opens his hips well when asked to handle switch-offs on deep patterns and moves well in space, but he certainly lacks any sort of punch and physicality when required to deliver press coverage (recorded ten reps in the 225-pound bench press drill). His leaping ability helps him get to most balls though and he always seems to get his hands on the pigskin, even when he isn’t in great position.

As shown on their depth chart, the Bengals are currently slated to start Dre Kirkpatrick and Adam Jones at the cornerback spots with Darqueze Dennard as the third corner. Without Jackson, 2015 fourth-round pick Josh Shaw could see an increased role in the coming year. The Bengals could also look to the open market for CB help.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.