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How Big Will Kareem Jackson's Next Contract Be?

Let's take a look at the salaries of top cornerbacks in the NFL and what Kareem Jackson may be worth on the open market, assuming he hits free agency as expected next week.

About to get PAID.
About to get PAID.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

We eagerly await learning whether the Houston Texans will retain Kareem Jackson's services before free agency starts (a prospect that always seemed unlikely and grows more unlikely the closer we get to March 10th), or if he'll have a chance to test his value in the free agent market in a few days.  There's always a strong demand for talented cornerbacks, and this year is no exception.

The Texans have cleared an estimated $30 million in cap space from releasing Chris Myers, and we still await the official news of the inevitable release or trade of Andre Johnson.  Will the Texans use any of that on Jackson?  How much of it do you think they would spend?  How much will another team be willing to spend?

Over The Cap shows the following salary information for the top-16 NFL cornerbacks:

Player Team Total Value Avg./Year Total Guaranteed Avg. Guarantee/Year % Guaranteed Free Agency
Darrelle Revis Patriots $32,000,000 $16,000,000 $11,500,000 $5,750,000 35.90% 2016 UFA
Patrick Peterson Cardinals $70,050,000 $14,010,000 $16,250,000 $3,250,000 23.20% 2021 UFA
Richard Sherman Seahawks $56,000,000 $14,000,000 $12,431,000 $3,107,750 22.20% 2019 UFA
Joe Haden Browns $67,500,000 $13,500,000 $22,678,193 $4,535,639 33.60% 2020 UFA
Brandon Carr Cowboys $50,100,000 $10,020,000 $25,500,000 $5,100,000 50.90% 2017 Void
Johnathan Joseph Texans $48,750,000 $9,750,000 $23,500,000 $4,700,000 48.20% 2016 UFA
Leon Hall Bengals $39,000,000 $9,750,000 $14,037,500 $3,509,375 36.00% 2016 UFA
Sam Shields Packers $39,000,000 $9,750,000 $12,500,000 $3,125,000 32.10% 2018 UFA
Aqib Talib Broncos $57,000,000 $9,500,000 $11,500,000 $1,916,667 20.20% 2020 UFA
Vontae Davis Colts $36,000,000 $9,000,000 $15,000,000 $3,750,000 41.70% 2018 UFA
Jason McCourty Titans $43,040,000 $8,608,000 $17,000,000 $3,400,000 39.50% 2018 UFA
Chris Harris Broncos $42,500,000 $8,500,000 $10,000,000 $2,000,000 23.50% 2020 UFA
Lardarius Webb Ravens $50,000,000 $8,333,333 $10,615,000 $1,769,167 21.20% 2017 UFA
Tramon Williams Packers $33,000,000 $8,250,000 $10,895,000 $2,723,750 33.00% 2015 UFA
Brent Grimes Dolphins $32,000,000 $8,000,000 $16,000,000 $4,000,000 54.00% 2018 UFA
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie Giants $35,000,000 $7,000,000 $11,980,000 $2,396,000 34.20% 2019 UFA

Darrelle Revis is sitting at the top of the heap with an average of $16 million per year.  Patrick Peterson, Richard Sherman and Joe Haden are averaging about $14 million per year.  I don't see Kareem Jackson being compared to those guys from a talent perspective, but he probably does fall in line with the next group of six.  That tier of players includes teammate Johnathan Joseph, and they are all averaging between $9 million and $10 million per year.

The NFL has been increasing the salary cap for the last couple of years, including a $10 million increase for the upcoming 2015 season.  This will potentially allow a team to pay a premium for Kareem Jackson, regardless of where his talent compares to his peers.  At 25 years of age and five years of starting experience, K-Jax is indeed a hot commodity.

My gut tells me that Jackson will command around $12 million per year in average salary in a new contract when you factor in the latest salary cap increase and the number of cornerback hungry teams flush with available cash.

That's probably too rich for the Texans, who have so many needs to fill.  What are your thoughts?