Donte Jackson – Carolina Panthers CB
When Donte Jackson was placed on season-ending injured/reserve following the Week 12 loss at the Miami Dolphins, many speculated that may be the last time the former LSU man turned out for the Carolina Panthers with his contract coming to an end this spring.
However, despite testing the waters of free agency, Jackson always indicated his intention to return to Carolina. The New Orleans native signed a three-year, $35.18 million deal with just over $16.5 million guaranteed, which represents a good deal for a high-level CB2.
With the losses of A.J. Bouye and Stephon Gilmore, Jackson now becomes a veteran in the group. Although one would imagine he’ll start the season as the second corner on the depth chart, don’t underestimate the role he’ll play within the locker room.
Jackson was a captain for the first time in his career in 2021 and it would be a big surprise if he didn’t have the same role this time around.
The 2018 second-round pick is touted as something of a ball hawk with 12 interceptions over four seasons. At times the player has struggled in coverage as we saw last season when the Washington Football Team came to town and Terry McLaurin had himself a day at Jackson’s expense.
As Jackson will find himself not covering the opposition’s WR1 this upcoming season, this may help the player improve those coverage skills. The addition of Steve Wilks will only help the player improve.
Jackson might see a slightly reduced role of responsibility on the field. But off it, his importance in the locker room only grows greater.