Donte Jackson - Carolina Panthers CB
- Cap saving - $10.62 million
After the Carolina Panthers opted to extend Donte Jackson rather than keep Stephon Gilmore around, it was done with the long-term in mind. However, things did not go according to plan thanks to indifferent performances and a cataclysmic injury that threatens his future with the franchise.
Jackson tore his Achilles in Week 10 against the Atlanta Falcons and faces a long road back to fitness. This is a difficult complication to recover from and there's a high chance the former second-round pick never gets back to his explosive self depending on its severity.
This leaves the Panthers with no option other than to invest once again in their cornerback options this offseason. Jackson's health coupled with the inconsistencies of Keith Taylor Jr. and C.J. Henderson leaves them dangerously short of viable options, which Ejiro Evero needs given his preference for nickel packages in a 3-4 base scheme.
If the worst occurs with Jackson, then the Panthers could cut their losses once the 2023 campaign comes to a conclusion. Something that comes with dead money of $3.66 million and a whopping saving of $10.62 million on their salary cap for good measure.
Everyone wishes Jackson nothing but the best in his recovery. At the same time, it's worth remembering that the NFL is a business and this leaves his long-term aspirations hanging in the balance.