The New York Giants ruffled some feathers by handing free agent cornerback Adoree’ Jackson a three-year contract worth $39 million of which $24.5 million was guaranteed. It shook up the cornerback marketplace to the degree that general managers around the league who were trying to reel in more established players felt they were compromised.
The Giants didn’t care. They wanted Jackson and did what to took to get him. Now, they are glad they did. They were clamoring for a complimentary corner to pair with their ascending star, James Bradberry, and now feel they have that. Jackson will start at left cornerback this season and hopefully beyond.
The rest of the NFL can go fetch for themselves. Jackson, a former first-round pick of the Tennessee Titans in 2017 out of USC was released by the Titans one day before free agency began. The Giants acted quickly and inked him the next week in the heat of the free agency frenzy period. Now, Jackson, who only played in 14 games the past two seasons due to injuries, has to live up to his contract.
On Friday, at training camp, the speedy Jackson gave the Giants a glimpse of what he can do by stepping in front of wide receiver David Sills and intercepting a Clayton Thorson pass.
Jackson grabbed the ball and took off in the opposite direction but pulled up before completing the pick-six. In a normal game, he would have himself a highlight reel-worthy moment.
“I would’ve hoped so,” Jackson said when asked if that would have gone for a touchdown. “I hope nobody would’ve caught me or tagged me.”
The 25-year-old with the infectiously optimistic attitude has captivated the coaching staff and his teammates. The fifth-year veteran is not wearing a chip on his shoulder as most first round draft picks do. He’s trying to fit in and find his niche with his new team.
“What’s crazy is when I first came here, I treated myself like a rookie, like the new guy,” Jackson said. “That was my mindset every day, just trying to learn from everybody no matter who you are in the room because at the end of the day, if you’re doing something some way and I’m like, ‘How did you do it like that?’ and implement it to my game. So, for me I’m just trying to enjoy it and soak up all the information that I can because you’re never too old to learn and you’re never too young to learn, as well. So, I think that’s just been my mindset, just to think that I’m not anybody and trying to improve on my game.”
A refreshing take from a young man that many felt got a contract he didn’t deserve. Jackson rounds out a secondary that some experts are calling the best in the NFL. He’s not concerned with rankings right now. He just wants to play his part and help the Giants win.
“I’m just doing what they throw at me. Whatever the ask, I’m just willing to do. I don’t have any suggestions, I don’t have anything like that. I’m just focusing on every day, continuing to get better, getting my body ready for tomorrow and then the next day and the next day. That’s going to come down the line when it comes, but right now just focusing on the present and just trying to work on my craft and trying to get better,” Jackson said.
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