CINCINNATI – The Bengals are interested in signing Patriots cornerback JC Jackson according to NFL insider Jordan Schultz.
New England didn’t place the franchise tag on the 26-year-old prior to Tuesday’s 4 pm ET deadline.
The Chargers, 49ers and Dolphins are also interested in him according to the report.
Jackson had 58 tackles and eight interceptions last season. He has 17 interceptions combined over the past two seasons.
The Bengals have taken big swings on defensive players in each of the past two offseasons. First, they signed DJ Reader to a four-year, $ 53 million deal in the spring of 2020. Then, they followed that up by inking Trey Hendrickson to a four-year, $ 60 million contract last March.
Both players played a big role in Cincinnati’s Super Bowl run. Would the Bengals be willing to follow that up by signing Jackson to a long-term contract?
Pro Football Focus projects him to sign a four-year, $ 72 million deal. It may sound farfetched, but Cincinnati could free up nearly $ 17 million in cap space by releasing Trae Waynes and Trey Hopkins.
If they took that room and applied it to Jackson, they’d still have space to make a run at quality veteran offensive linemen in free agency.
Adding Jackson to a defensive backfield that includes Jessie Bates, Vonn Bell, Chidobe Awuzie and Mike Hilton would give the Bengals one of the best secondaries in the NFL.
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