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NFL insiders believe Washington Commanders will release cornerback William Jackson

Andrew Buller-Russ

In football, the old adage is “one can never have too many cornerbacks,” or at least that’s what Mike Zimmer loved to tout.

The Washington Commanders don’t seem to take that same approach, with William Jackson apparently becoming more of a problem than a solution to their defensive struggles.

Jackson, who the team signed as a free agent to a three-year, $40.5 million contract prior to the 2021 season, was benched by head coach Ron Rivera during Washington’s Week 5 loss. It was particularly noteworthy, being that Jackson is the second-highest-paid player on the team.

Yet, Jackson himself suggests he’s been battling through injuries, and being that he sat out the last two weeks with a back injury, the 30-year-old cornerback may have a point.

Still, when on the field, Jackson hasn’t been effective. While injuries could be part of the reason for his struggles, Jackson has allowed a catch on 84.2% of targets headed his way. This translates to 219 receiving yards and two touchdowns allowed in just four games, according to Pro Football Focus.

It’s come to the point where Washington would like to trade the six-year pro, but with a cap hit of $13.8 million in 2022 and $9 million in 2023, along with his poor play, pulling off a trade may be easier said than done.

Related: William Jackson III reportedly wants trade, Washington Commanders will oblige: 3 possible landing spots

Releasing William Jackson will cost Washington Commanders a lot of dough

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Washington Commanders
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

While Jackson is surely on the trade block before the Nov. 1 deadline, he’s reportedly been available dating back to the offseason, meaning teams just aren’t interested in his salary.

Yet, as Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated notes, the Commanders may simply choose to release Jackson instead. But doing so wouldn’t come without a cost.

If the Commanders do release Jackson, it will incur a penalty of $13 million on their 2022 cap sheet while also adding $3 million in penalties for the next three seasons. Clearly, this would be their last resort, but if the organization feels they’re better off without the player they once believed could help solve their pass defense woes, don’t be surprised if Jackson becomes a free agent over the next few weeks.

Should Jackson get his walking papers, the veteran would be free to sign with any NFL team as they make a push for the postseason.

Related: NFL trade rumors: Brandin Cooks speculation, and Jeff Wilson up for grabs