Donte Jackson – Carolina Panthers CB
- 2023 salary-cap number: $13.58 million
One of the biggest talking points last offseason surrounding the cornerback position. Donte Jackson and Stephon Gilmore were both out of contract and with money tight, those in power had a critical decision to make.
After some lengthy debate, the Panthers signed Jackson to an extension and allowed Gilmore to test free agency. Something that raised a few eyebrows but was done with the bigger picture in mind.
Gilmore thrived with the underperforming Indianapolis Colts in 2022. As for Jackson, he was inconsistent at best before a devastating injury threw his future career prospects into the balance.
Jackson tore his Achilles, which is one of the worst problems to overcome. Considering how the former LSU stud relies heavily on quick twitch and reactionary moves, the potential problems are there for all to see.
Normal timeframes indicate Jackson could miss a large part of 2023 unless his rehabilitation goes better than anticipated. Even though the $13.58 million cap number will come down due to the games he’s expected to miss, it does not detract from this lofty figure being more than the defensive back’s previous production warrants.
A situation could also emerge where Jackson never gets back to his old self. So the Panthers must form a contingency plan via free agency of the 2023 NFL Draft.