Packers sending Josh Jackson to Giants for Isaac Yiadom in cornerbacks swap

Olivia Reiner
Packers News

GREEN BAY - The Green Bay Packers are parting ways with Josh Jackson, sending the fourth-year cornerback to the New York Giants for cornerback Isaac Yiadom, a source confirmed Tuesday.

The terms of the deal were first reported by Fansided and ESPN.

Yiadom, who was drafted in the third round (99th overall) by the Denver Broncos in 2018, has played in 45 NFL games over three years. After the 25-year-old was traded to the Giants at the start of the 2020 season, Yiadom started 10 games with the Giants, appeared in 16 and earned over half of the team’s defensive snaps (633, 58%).

In those 16 games, Yiadom registered 46 tackles, a forced fumble and five pass breakups. According to Pro Football Reference, Yiadom allowed 37 completions on 60 targets (61.7%), averaged 13 yards per completion and was in coverage for six touchdowns in 2020.

Cornerback  Isaac Yiadom (No. 21) joins in the celebration of a Giants interception in a 2020 game.

Through 45 career games, Yiadom has 109 tackles, one interception, 12 pass breakups, a forced fumble and half of a sack. Yiadom joins running back AJ Dillon and inside linebacker Isaiah McDuffie as fellow Boston College Eagles on the Packers.

Jackson, the Packers’ second-round pick out of the University of Iowa in the 2018 NFL draft, failed to cement a consistent role in the secondary for the past three seasons. Jackson showed promise in his rookie year — although he was listed as the fifth cornerback coming out of training camp in 2018, he ended up starting 10 games that season. In his second NFL game against the Minnesota Vikings, Jackson scored a touchdown after wide receiver Geronimo Allison blocked a punt.

The 6-foot, 196-pound corner played 16 games and 718 defensive snaps in the 2018 season and finished with 39 tackles, one tackle for a loss, 10 pass breakups and one fumble recovery. After the 2018 season, however, Jackson experienced a significant drop-off in defensive snaps. He didn’t start a game in 2019, appeared in 14, played 103 defensive snaps and saw an increase in special teams playing time.

Cornerback Josh Jackson is moving on after three years in Green Bay.

When Packers starting cornerback Kevin King missed five games with a quadriceps injury in the middle of the 2020 season, Jackson received starting opportunities. Jackson played in 12 games that season, breaking up two passes and finishing with 26 tackles.

In total, Jackson played in 42 games, made 86 tackles, broke up two passes, fumbled once and recovered a fumble. Jackson also had four punt returns, his longest being 7 yards.

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With the Packers drafting cornerback Eric Stokes in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft and signing free agent King to a one-year deal, Jackson’s chances of making the initial 53-man roster as an outside corner and special teams player for the 2021 season were slim. At Monday’s practice after the Packers’ preseason opener against the Houston Texans, Jackson appeared to have fallen down the depth chart behind second-year undrafted free agent Kabion Ento.

With Jackson’s trade, general manager Brian Gutekunst has seen five of the draft picks from his inaugural class depart the team. Jackson joins wide receiver J’Mon Moore, offensive lineman Cole Madison, defensive end/tight end James Looney and outside linebacker Kendall Donnerson as 2018 draft picks who have left the Packers.

Also Tuesday, the Packers got down to the 85-player roster limit by placing tight end Isaac Nauta and receiver DeAndre Thompkins on injured reserve and releasing guard/tackle Zack Johnson. 

They also reportedly will re-sign quarterback Jake Dolegala to provide depth along with Kurt Benkert as Jordan Love recovers from a shoulder injury.