PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers are trading for Washington Commanders cornerback William Jackson III, according to a report by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
The Steelers traded a conditional 2025 sixth-round pick to the Commanders for Jackson and received a conditional 2025 seventh-round pick in the exchange. Washington was reportedly considering releasing Jackson if they could not find a trading partner, due to his high salary.
The 6-foot, 189-pound Jackson is under contract through the end of the 2023 season. The Steelers will owe him the remainder of his $5 million salary for 2022. He is set to earn $12.75 million in 2023.
The Steelers have been rotating a cast of characters through their secondary thanks to injuries and ineffective play. Cam Sutton has been the only consistent at cornerback, with Levi Wallace, Ahkello Witherspoon and James Pierre also working outside and Art Maulet and Tre Norwood have played inside. Jackson has almost exclusively played outside cornerback in his time in the NFL, with over 3,800 snaps outside compared to just 500 or so in the slot.
A first-round draft pick of the Cincinnati Bengals in 2016, the 30-year-old Jackson has been a stalwart in NFL secondaries ever since. He started 48 games over four seasons with the Bengals from 2017-20. He signed with Washington as a free agent in 2021.
The Steelers reportedly wanted Jackson in the 2016 NFL Draft, but the Cincinnati Bengals took him one pick ahead of Pittsburgh. The Steelers took Artie Burns instead.
In 75 NFL games, Jackson has five interceptions, 205 tackles, six for a loss, one sack and 51 passes defended. This season, he has 16 tackles, one for a loss, and two passes defended. His PFF grade is a career-worst 49.6 this season
Jackson is a native of Houston, Texas and played collegiately for his hometown Cougars, where he was a two-time All-AAC selection.