Jackson was so bad that he was one of the top reasons Scott Pioli was fired from his job as the Kansas City Chiefs general manager. Pioli's first move as assistant general manager in Atlanta was to reunite with Jackson to the tune of a five-year, $25 million contract.
Jackson was going to be part of Atlanta's 3-4 defensive line that never materialized. The formation really only showed up when Mike Nolan wanted to rush three slow linemen on third and longs. It was a disaster.
We are now in year three of this deal. Jackson has had time and opportunity to develop into even a competent player. He's been pushed around to defensive tackle and defensive end but the result has been the same: he's a bad player. He frequently looks over weight and is never around the football.
How bad is Jackson? He's reminiscent of other Falcons defensive ends like bust Jamaal Anderson and flamed out free agent signing Ray Edwards. It is almost impossible to comprehend how bad he has been compared to these other terrible players. It took Anderson 22 (!) games to get his first career sack. He never turned into a real pass rusher, but you can put some of the blame on him being a rookie. Even Ray Edwards managed 3.5 sacks in 25 games before falling all the way out of the league.
Jackson? Zero sacks in 34 games in a Falcons uniform. Statistically he should have a few accidental sacks just because he's on the field so often. Last year against Carolina he got to the elusive Cam Newton, but had not sacked a quarterback in so long he forgot how to do it legally. He went right at Newton's helmet and was quickly flagged. His lone sack removed from the record books. It is literally my only memory of Jackson on the field.
He is surprisingly ineffective against the run, and has no forced fumbles or any otherwise impactful plays. Even Ra'Shede Hageman has outperformed Jackson, and he has a very tenuous grasp on his roster spot.
No Play Ray Edwards signed a five-year, $27.5 million contract and was cut halfway through his second season for equal parts of being a terrible teammate and an ineffective player. However, the similar Jackson contract is even worse because he was never an impact player. Not in Kansas City, and he showed little potential to become one. Even Edwards pulled it together for a few seasons and was at least worth the money. Jackson was never worth this deal.
We are in Jackson's third year, and all he is doing is getting in the way of developing younger players. The team is burning up dollars, snaps, and development to keep Jackson on the field. Two games in and he is as ineffective as he has always been, and is a major reason why Atlanta has had zero pass rush since he was signed. The Falcons gave him ample opportunity but can find better and cheaper elsewhere. It is finally time to move on.