Former NFL safety takes victory lap, shows Austin Jackson love for Miami Dolphins extension

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Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Former NFL defensive back and current ESPN analyst Louis Riddick shouted out Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Austin Jackson after he agreed to a long-term extension with the Dolphins.

Jackson reportedly agreed to a three-year, $36 million deal with Miami that includes $20.7 million guaranteed. The max value of the contract is $39 million.

A first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Jackson has started 12 games for Miami this season. The right tackle is proving that he can be an anchor on the team’s offensive line, and Riddick has taken notice.

Not only did Riddick credit Jackson for the team’s success in the running game, but he seems to believe that Jackson and the offensive line are a little underappreciated as well.

It’s great to see Jackson getting the recognition that he deserves, especially since there was no guarantee that he’d be with Miami for the long haul entering the 2023 season.

The Dolphins declined Jackson’s fifth-year option on his contract prior to this season. Had the two sides not come to terms on an extension this season, Jackson would have become a free agent in the offseason.

Jackson appeared in just two games in the 2022 season, but he’s become a staple on the team’s offensive line in the current campaign.

Not only has he started all 12 games for the Dolphins, but he has also been extremely effective, posting a Pro Football Focus grade of 67.3 this season. He’s allowed just two sacks and been called for just six penalties.

Right tackle is an extremely important position for Miami since quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is a left-handed thrower. That means Jackson is responsible for protecting Tagovailoa’s blind side.

Clearly, the team has been impressed with his ability to do that, as it seemingly wants him in that role for at least the next three seasons. The Dolphins draft class from the 2020 NFL Draft is looking pretty solid now that Jackson and Tagovailoa (two of the team’s first-round picks in that draft) have blossomed into franchise cornerstones.

The Dolphins are currently the No. 1 seed in the AFC after the Kansas City Chiefs lost to the Green Bay Packers in Week 13. Miami is looking to hold onto that spot when it takes on the Tennessee Titans in Week 14.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.