4 Free Agent cornerbacks Tampa Bay can sign ahead of preseason

Even four months into NFL free agency, the Bucs have no shortage of veteran cornerbacks that remain available to sign in free agency.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New England Patriots
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New England Patriots / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages
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Throughout the offseason, the Buccaneers made several transactions regarding their cornerback room. That starts with the Buccaneers trading Carlton Davis III to Detroit in exchange for the Lions' 2024 third-round pick. With that, Tampa Bay selected Georgia's Tykee Smith at No. 89, who figures to be the Buccaneers' starting nickel corner in 2024.

In free agency, Tampa Bay signed Bryce Hall and Tavierre Thomas to one-year deals, with both corners coming off solid seasons. Coupled with the return of starting cornerbacks Jamel Dean and breakout candidate Zyon McCollum, and the Buccaneers' cornerback room figures to be a solid point of their defense in 2024.

Outside of the five corners mentioned, Tampa Bay's reserves at the position leave a lot to be desired, with the likes of Josh Hayes, Quandre Mosely, and Keenan Isaac set to slot in the starting lineup barring the starters missing time. For example, Dean has missed 15 total games in his first five seasons, while Hall and Thomas have dealt with lingering injuries that have kept them off the field.

Although the majority of the top free agents have already signed with new teams, there are still several notable cornerbacks still available on the market. For Tampa Bay, signing one could be the difference between their fourth straight NFC South division title and a letdown year in 2024.

4 Free Agent cornerbacks Tampa Bay can sign ahead of preseason

JC Jackson

After going undrafted in the 2018 draft, Jackson has had an up-and-down seven-year career in the NFL. Jackson would sign with New England as an undrafted free agent, and went on to become one of the Patriots' starting cornerbacks for the next four seasons. In 62 games (39 starts), Jackson recorded 158 tackles, 53 pass breakups, and 25 interceptions.

During the 2021 season, Jackson broke out in a major way, posting a league-leading 23 pass breakups, eight interceptions, and 58 tackles in 17 starts, while earning All-Pro Second Team Honors and his first Bowl Pro nod. Jackson's lockdown coverage was a key cog in the Patriots' standout defense, which allowed just 17.8 points and 187.1 passing yards per game, the second-fewest marks in the NFL.

From that point on, Jackson's career has gone downhill. In the 2021 offseason, Jackson left New England to sign with Los Angeles, and only played in five games as a Charger before rupturing his patellar tendon. Jackson would return to New England in the following offseason, and would notch six pass breakups and 25 tackles in eight games before being cut and latching onto the Chargers for the final two games of the season.

At 28 years old, Jackson still has plenty to offer as a veteran cornerback, and has shown he can be the No. 1 corner on a shutdown defense. With McCollum entering his first presumed season as a starter and Hall and Thomas in the wings, Jackson would be a low-risk, high-reward signing for Tampa Bay at a cheap price.