Logan Ryan. Darnay Holmes. Jabrill Peppers. Leonard Williams. There were all New York Giants players, many previously well-known to free agent cornerback Adoree’ Jackson, were all part of the full-court press the Giants used to try and get Jackson to sign with the team.
It worked. Part of that was Ryan, a close friend and mentor since Jackson’s 2017 rookie year in Carolina.
“I know Logan, he’s going to shoot it to you straight no matter what. He won’t sugarcoat anything, so the deal was just chop it up with him and talk to him about what he likes and he said it’s a first-class organization. Logan’s been a lot of places and for him to speak so highly, and just him keeping his word,” Jackson said. “I trust him, he’ll tell me one thing on the field, I’m going to listen to him and trust him because I know he’s not going to put me in a situation to fail. So that was the same thing we were talking about when we were eating dinner. I know that if he’s going to say something, he’s not going to try to put me in a situation that will hinder me or hurt me. He just wants the best for me, so that’s how those conversations were going between us.”
Ryan, of course, signed a three-year deal of his own at the end of last season to remain with the Giants. He professed his happiness with he organization on a number of occasions.
The other part of the equation for Jackson, beyond the $39 million contract the Giants gave him, was that he said he felt “at peace” when he visited the organization’s East Rutherford, N.J. facility.
Jackson visited the Giants Sunday night and Monday.
“The visit, in a sense, I guess was kind of like being in college and getting recruited all over again. It was just me going out there trying to meet all the coaches, talking to them, the ups and everybody down from there just to see what was going on with the organization,” Jackson said. “It felt like family, it felt like home and it felt good. I always talk about trying to be comfortable and being at peace, so that’s what I felt when I was out there on the visit.”
Jackson said the fact that he already has familiarity with Ryan and Holmes should make the on-field transition smoother.
“Just being able to know a lot of people it just makes you more comfortable and it’s easier to hold each other accountable because you won’t be shy to hurt somebody’s feelings,” jackson said. “They know how you act, you know how they act, you’re just able to be cohesive and not bump heads when you’re out there.”
Jackson said three good seasons in Tennessee and then an injury-shortened 2020 season that he said was his first real taste of adversity.
Players always believe they can reach higher, that they can be better than they have been previously. Why does Jackson think the Giants are the right team to bring more out of his game?
“Just talking to PG [defensive coordinator Patrick Graham], Coach ‘Rome [defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson] – and I talked to ‘Rome and he said he had Darelle Revis his first two years and just seeing how he developed,” Jackson said. “Talking to Bradberry, talking to Logan and they spoke highly of him and so that’s what I think that I was looking for. Coach Rome played the game and he was telling me about the ins and outs and everything about him playing and what he expects and what he’s looking for, and I accepted that as a challenge to come prove myself and compete.”
The signings of wide receivers John Ross and Kenny Golladay also helped convince Jackson that something good might be cooking with the Giants.
“I talked to [wide receiver John] Ross. That’s my guy, I talked to him and he said come to New York. When he said that, I didn’t know which New York he was talking about and when I saw he signed, I said, ‘Okay.’ I kept asking my mom for clarity and stuff, and then I saw Kenny was going around, so I wondered where Kenny was going to go. So I was just chilling, waiting and then next thing I know he’s signing with the Giants and I was like, ‘Well, that’s a lot of clarity right there,’ “ Jackson said. “To be able to go battle and compete against guys like that in practice, so when it’s game time you can just go out there and play ball.”