The New England Patriots are licking their wounds after the Indianapolis Colts ended their seven-game win streak on Saturday night.
To make a long story short, it was a disaster outing for Bill Belichick’s normally buttoned-up Patriots. Seeing that Carson Wentz attempted just 12 passes, you can point the finger at everyone but the secondary.
Speaking of the secondary, JC Jackson, though he didn’t need to be at his best, turned in yet another sound showing against Michael Pittman Jr., allowing zero receptions and notching three pass breakups. As things stand, Jackson is trending towards making his first Pro Bowl.
It’s nothing less than he deserves (his snub last year was an abomination), but the longer he continues to perform at this level, the less likely it is that the Patriots sign him to a long-term deal.
It raises questions about why New England didn’t extend him sooner, but after looking at the current CB market, it’s hard to envision a scenario that sees Jackson remain with the franchise for the long haul.
After looking at recent CB contracts, the Patriots probably won’t sign JC Jackson to a long-term deal.
We hate to break it to you, Patriots fans, but Belichick isn’t paying a cornerback between $17-20 million annually. The longtime de facto general manager “broke the bank” on Stephon Gilmore a few years back and that contract amounted to $13 million per year.
Gilmore’s production, which culminated in him winning Defensive Player of the Year in 2019, helped that deal become one of the biggest bargains in the NFL and Belichick still couldn’t be bothered to pay him his dues.
With all due respect to Gilmore, Jackson might be just as accomplished as he was when he hit the open market after the 2016 season.
With the market continuing to evolve and Belichick always finding diamonds in the rough at the CB position, do you really think he wants to move heaven and earth to sign Jackson? Probably not, even though he’s posting otherworldly numbers.
Whether Jackson is hit with the franchise tag for 2022 or his simply allowed to walk at the end of this season, this relationship is headed for a divorce. It’s the circle of life when it comes to Belichick and turning previously no-name players into bargains and impact studs.
We’ve seen it with Joe Thuney, a former third-round pick, Trey Flowers, a former fourth-rounder, and Jamie Collins, a second-rounder back in 2013.
This isn’t all to say we agree with Belichick betting on himself. He’s had a couple of bad whiffs on cornerbacks in the draft in recent years and Jackson has proven to be a perfect fit in his scheme.
Unfortunately, it’s never that simple with the six-time champ.