On Friday (Jan. 3) Eddie Jackson (26) became the highest paid safety in the NFL. Jackson’s agents, SportsTrust Advisors, confirmed via Twitter that Jackson signed a 4-year, $58.4 million extension with $33 million guaranteed. That tops the $31 million guaranteed the Titans gave Kevin Byard in June.
The Bears drafted Eddie Jackson out of Alabama in the 4th round of the 2017 draft. Jackson started right away for the Bears and has started 46 out of 48 regular season games since. After a solid rookie season, Jackson broke onto the scene with a stellar sophomore campaign. In year 2 Jackson caught 6 interceptions, forced 2 fumbles, and scored 3 touchdowns. These numbers earned him his first Pro-Bowl appearance, but more impressively, a 1st team All-pro selection.
First team All-pro essentially means, in the eyes of experts, you are were the best at your position for that year. “Jackson scored five defensive touchdowns during the 2017 and 2018 seasons, which is tied for the most all time by a player in his first two NFL seasons. He joined Deion Sanders as the only players since 1970 to have three defensive touchdowns of 65-plus yards in a two-season span” – Jeff Dickerson from ESPN.
Jackson is no one-hit-wonder. He followed up an incredible sophomore season with another impressive season in 2019. He tallied 60 tackles, 2 interceptions, and 1 forced fumble. While not as statistically impressive as the season before, Jackson played well and earned his second straight Pro-Bowl selection. A defensive-back doing his job well does not always mean he is racking up the stats. Eddie Jackson brings much more value to the Bears defense than just interceptions. Offenses know how well he covers zones and reads plays so they steer clear of him whenever possible. His ability to help out in the run game as a safety is a great asset for the defense as well.
Eddie Jackson is one of the best safeties in the league and at 26 years old he’s in the prime of his career. Kevin Patra of Around the NFL writes: “Locking down Jackson beyond next season with a no-brainer extension ensures playmakers on D will remain in the Windy City as Matt Nagy & Co. figure out the offense.” Some people may think the Bears overpaid for a safety but at the end of the day if the Bears didn’t pay him that money someone else would. Eddie Jackson proved that he is worth the money coming off back-to-back Pro-Bowl seasons including one 1st team All-Pro selection.