Speaking strictly in regards to the Los Angeles Rams in NFL Free Agency this year, all has been relatively quiet on the NFC western front. While the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers have made some splashy moves in the last few days, the Rams have remained somewhat stagnant in their free agency pursuits. However, the Rams have reportedly shown strong interest in acquiring former Tennessee Titans cornerback Adoree’ Jackson to the roster — a move that would immediately bolster the team’s secondary and add more grease to the fire in their ultimate hopes of making a deep playoff run in the coming season.
For starters, it is a tad puzzling that Jackson is even on the free agent market to begin with. Jackson, the former USC Trojan and 2017 18th overall pick, has not yet quite attained elite status, but has nonetheless been a stalwart fixture for the Titans’ secondary when healthy. Unfortunately, injury woes have kept him out of contention for extended durations during his short career. Most recently, Jackson had to miss 13 games last season with a dreadful knee injury.
Furthermore, vague rumors about Jackson not handling himself with the utmost degree of professionalism during his rehab might have been (along with the necessary evil of having to clear up cap space) one of the motivating factors why the Titans decided to move on from the young rising star.
Should the Rams Target Adoree’ Jackson in NFL Free Agency?
With the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles in hot pursuit of Jackson’s talents, it remains a long shot that the Rams can convince him to sign on the dotted line in the coming days. But this doesn’t prevent the mind from wondering what a player of Jackson’s caliber would bring to the team if healthy. After losing both safety John Johnson III and cornerback Troy Hill to the Cleveland Browns over the past week, it would behoove the Rams to bolster the left side of the field opposite perennial Pro-Bowler Jalen Ramsey with someone of Jackson’s aptitude.
While Jackson has not proven to be quite the sort of ballhawk that anticipates passing plays before they happen, his overall coverage skills are top notch, ranking just behind Richard Sherman, Jaire Alexander and Stephon Gilmore among corners when lined up outside, according to Pro Football Focus. He is also a dynamo in the open field, blanketing receivers and preventing a lot of yards after the catch (YAC). While there remain questions about his health following his untimely 2020-21 injury and the fact that he missed substantial time in the previous season as well, a fully healthy Jackson would provide an instantaneous boost to whatever team is lucky enough to acquire his services.
Although no announcements have been made about an official visit with the team (as is the case with the Giants and Eagles), and signing with the Rams would be a shocking development given the team’s lackluster cap situation and inability to offer Jackson top dollar for his services, both the Southern California hometown connection and the opportunity to play with a potential Super Bowl contender cannot be completely overlooked. A cornerback tandem of Ramsey and Jackson flanking each side of the field would push the Rams one giant step closer to the pinnacle this “win-now” team is seeking.