5 cornerbacks 49ers must pursue in 2022 NFL free agency

D.J. Reed #2 of the Seattle Seahawks (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
D.J. Reed #2 of the Seattle Seahawks (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
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J.C. Jackson, New England Patriots
New England Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson (27) Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /

49ers free-agent cornerback No. 1: J.C. Jackson, Patriots

One of the reasons why the Patriots were able to freely trade away Stephon Gilmore was thanks to the emergence of fellow cornerback J.C. Jackson, who showed his impressive nine-interception campaign in 2020 was no fluky one-year wonder, backing it up with eight interceptions en route to his first Pro Bowl nod last season.

With 25 interceptions over his four-year career, Jackson has emerged as one of the predominant ballhawk defensive backs in the league, and he’ll surely command top dollar hitting the open market.

Especially after leading the NFL in pass breakups in 2021 with 23.

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Jackson is hitting NFL free agency at the perfect point in his career. Coming off two exceptional seasons, a Pro Bowl nod and a second-team All-Pro selection, there’s little doubting the fact a lot of teams will be willing to spend a lot of cash trying to lure him over to their side.

That’ll surely make the Niners’ chances of getting Jackson much tougher, as he could potentially wind up getting a deal worth close to $20 million on an annual basis, probably well beyond whatever San Francisco has budgeted.

Still, the 49ers have to try luring Jackson over in some fashion, and he’d be quite the addition to a team in need of generating turnovers in the secondary.

Next. 49ers' 15 best free-agent acquisitions of all time. dark