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?