William Jackson III 'would love' to sign long-term extension with Bengals

James Rapien

Cornerback William Jackson III is one of the many players on the Bengals' roster that is entering the final year of his contract. 

The former first-round pick struggled at times last season, partially due to a torn labrum in his right shoulder. 

He was placed on injured reserve after aggravating the injury against the Dolphins in Week 16. 

Despite being hurt, Jackson appeared in 14 of a possible 16 games last season. He underwent surgery in January. 

“It’s nagging, and it’s telling you to fix it. It’s a lot of pain," Jackson told Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. "I’m fully healthy and ready to go. I put on some muscle. I play some big receivers this year.”

The 27-year-old is hoping to sign a long-term deal with the Bengals. 

“They picked up my fifth-year option, so that was a blessing,” Jackson said. “I just go out there and have fun and let everything play out. I love it in Cincinnati. I’m comfortable. They’ve got a great coaching staff and great teammates around me.

“I would love to come back [to Cincinnati]. Right now, I’m just focused and ready to get the season started."

Jackson will have an improved supporting cast around him this season. The Bengals signed Trae Waynes, Vonn Bell and Mackensie Alexander in free agency. 

Wilson also reported that the Bengals turned down multiple trade offers for Jackson before the deadline last season. They'll have plenty of cap space next offseason to sign him to a long-term deal. 

If Jackson can stay healthy and show he's a shutdown cornerback, then the Bengals would be more than willing to sign him to a big money extension. 

“I’ve always got goals; no goals are too big,” Jackson said. “I want to get a lot of picks in the picks column. I’ve been playing some great defense, but it could be better. I’m trying to get better every day.”

He had a great 2017 season, but he took a step back in 2018 and played through the shoulder injury last season. 

Jackson has a lot to prove, but he has the talent to be a high-end NFL cornerback. Like a lot of other players on the Bengals' roster — health is a big question mark.

"One thing you can control is when people aren’t watching is what you do," Jackson said. I come in, put the work in and it will pay off on Sundays.”

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