Patriots: 3 players next in line for contract extensions

Patriots CB JC Jackson (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Patriots CB JC Jackson (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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Patriots CB JC Jackson (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) /

1. JC Jackson

The Patriots turned a lot of heads when they placed a second-round tender on JC Jackson this offseason, meaning they have the right to match any offer he receives from another team or simply accept a second-round pick and let him go.

For context, a first-round tender would’ve cost the Patriots a little less than $2 million more and would’ve all but guaranteed that Jackson would stay with them for next season. It would still be surprising if another team stepped up to the table with an offer, but it’s not totally out of the realm of possibility.

The Patriots cannot afford to let JC Jackson slip through their fingers.

We would argue that Jackson should’ve already been locked up long term, but the Patriots probably won’t enter negotiations with him until next offseason, when he’ll become an unrestricted free agent. Assuming he’s still a part of the team by then, there’s nobody more deserving of a lucrative extension (on either side of the ball) than the three-year pro.

Since joining the Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2018, Jackson has racked up 100 tackles, 17 interceptions and 30 passes defended, while allowing a ridiculously low 46.4 passer rating when targeted by opposing quarterbacks.

Despite the fact that Jackson, who will turn 26 in November, is just entering his prime, he’s already one of the most dominant cornerbacks in the league in single coverage. Throw in the fact that he’s a turnover machine and we truly couldn’t think of a better fit for the Patriots’ defensive scheme, which relies so heavily on perimeter security.

While there’s an argument to be had about whether Jackson can ever be a lockdown No. 1 corner, his absurd production over his first three seasons is more than deserving of a new deal. Let’s hope the Patriots act before he’s free to test the open market next offseason.