There were not a ton of expectations for Jackson heading into the season, seeing as he was projected to be mostly a special teams contributor for the Browns. However, he was forced into starting action late in the season due to a bevy of injuries in the secondary and COVID-19 issues within the team.
Browns waived CB Robert Jackson.
— Andrew Gribble (@Andrew_Gribble) February 11, 2021
In all, the 27-year-old defensive back played 10 regular-season games for the Browns — starting two — making six tackles, no interceptions and registering one pass breakup.
“Put Robert out there and he had a couple of tough matchups, but by and large, he was in position,” Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski told reporters after Jackson started the must-win season-finale against the Steelers. “A couple of things that we can clean up, but all of those guys, I am proud of them for stepping up to the challenge.”
Jackson did get some time in the spotlight when he was called out by Steelers receiver Chase Claypool for flinching on a run play. Jackson gave up a touchdown to Claypool in the Wild Card matchup and registered eight tackles.
— DAZN Canada (@DAZN_CA) January 13, 2021
Jacksonʻs went on injured reserve with a hamstring injury after the Brownsʻ Wild Card victory against the Steelers. Heʻll now be searching for another home in the NFL.
It’s the second move of the week for the Browns, who waived offensive lineman Malcolm Pridgeon earlier this week. Pridgeon who opted out of last season due to COVID-19 concerns.
Browns Expected to Get Secondary Depth Back From Injury
The Browns have two young corners who they like in Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams. However, both have dealt with injuries early on in their careers, with Williams — a second-round pick of the Browns in 2019 — missing the entirety of last season with nerve damage. Terrance Mitchell, who started for Williams this season, is an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
Williams was joined by rookie safety Grant Delpit on the sideline for the year, but Browns general manager Andrew Berry is confident that they’ll be back in action next season.
“Those two individuals deserve a ton of credit because that is not easy to go through when in Grant’s case, you are a rookie, and in Greedy’s case, you are in your second year of your career in the NFL,” Berry told reporters. “It can be discouraging when all you want is quick progress and that is not necessarily happening. Both of those guys have done a phenomenal job with their rehab, and certainly, we look forward to having them in 2021.”
When healthy, Ward is one of the best cornerbacks in football. Last season he played 12 games due to injuries and COVID-19, but was a force when on the field. He ranked 13th in outside coverage grade and was tied for third at the position in forced incompletions (14), per PFF.
Williams and Delpit still have to prove that they can hang at the NFL level, but there are high hopes when it comes to their potential.
Browns, Richard Sherman Have Mutual Interest
The Browns have hinted at making a splash on the defensive side of the ball this offseason, which could mean landing a lockdown cornerback to play opposite of Ward, or a pass-rusher to help out Myles Garrett.
A veteran cornerback that will be available this offseason in Richard Sherman, who reportedly has an interest in joining the Browns and linking up with his former 49ers defensive backs coach, Joe Woods, who is now the defensive coordinator in Cleveland.
Sherman would bring plenty to the table for the Browns — if the price was right. He’s a five-time Pro Bowler, three-time first-team All-Pro and a Super Bowl champion. While he’s on the backend of his career as a cover corner — with 36 career interceptions — his playoff pedigree would be invaluable for the Browns as they look to take the next step.