Eddie Jackson was considered one of the best safeties in the NFL following the end of the 2018 season. That is why the Chicago Bears paid him so much money in January of 2020. Nobody could’ve predicted how far the former All-Pro would’ve fallen at that time. After posting eight interceptions in ’18 and ’19, Jackson has now gone 31 consecutive appearances without one. A staggering drought that people can’t explain.
Not only that, but the veteran is also developing a reputation for being soft. Somebody that too often makes “business decisions.” A fancy way of saying he isn’t physical enough. Hence he tends to miss tackles so often. Bob McGinn of Go Long TD spoke to multiple scouts on the Bears defense after the season ended last month. When the subject of Jackson came up, they were anything but flattering.
He had a tremendous season in 2018 after arriving as a fourth-round pick in ’17. His last two seasons have been subpar. “He was supremely disappointing,” one scout said. “I don’t think he’s committed when he approaches the line of scrimmage or that he’s got a willingness to make a one-on-one tackle anymore. He was avoiding tackles in the beginning (of the year).” Added a second scout: “He had that one big year and got paid. Now he’s like shut down. Just really a drop-off.”
“Everybody can tackle.” – Eddie Jackson, 2021pic.twitter.com/64k4t8IAr5
— BDR Bradley (@BDRBradley1) September 13, 2021
There is no getting around those comments.
Even NFL people are echoing what fans have said for many months now. Eddie Jackson has lost his edge. Whatever urgency he played with four years ago disappeared ever since he got that new contract. While he is still a serviceable player who brings versatility to the secondary, the playmaker from back then is long gone. Some are left to wonder what his fate might be with a new regime in charge of the Bears organization. Ryan Poles didn’t draft him, and Matt Eberflus is a coach known for having high standards of his players.
He doesn’t tolerate loafing or anything less than 100% commitment to getting the football. The man isn’t afraid to bench players that he feels don’t give him that. Rashaan Melvin had three interceptions in 2017 for the Colts. A year later when Eberflus arrived, they cut him. Much of this was due to Melvin’s unwillingness to change his style of play. This should serve as a warning to Jackson. Big contract or not, his credibility is gone.