The New England Patriots are still trying to figure out what the best course of action would be with regard to JC Jackson. On one hand, he is one of the most talented defensive backs in the league and fresh off a Pro Bowl season. He should get whatever he wants, right?
Well, the Patriots would need to make some roster cuts more significant than Kyle Van Noy if they want to open up the cap space to afford him. Jackson allegedly is asking for close to $20 million per season, which would put him right next to what Jalen Ramsey is earning on a per year basis.
Now that the possibility of losing Jackson for nothing in free agency is becoming clearer, some Patriots fans might be in denial about what a massive loss Jackson would be. It appears that not even Tom E. Curran is grasping what a monumental departure Jackson represents.
Curran said that Jackson was not worth the exorbitant price tag that he is asking for, claiming that “nobody’s afraid of throwing at JC Jackson.” So, what you’re saying is that no one is afraid of throwing at the guy who has intercepted 17 passes in the last two years despite the league-wide interception rate dropping? Make it make sense!
The New England Patriots should try to keep JC Jackson.
On top of the fact that Jackson has become the league’s best ballhawk in recent years, he’s also still entering his prime. Letting him go might not mesh with Belichick’s usual MO in free agency of letting established veterans leave. In the past, he retained names like Dont’a Hightower rather than letting him hit the open market.
Even if they bring Jackson back, the Patriots will in all likelihood use one of their higher draft picks on a cornerback. The secondary will completely fall off a cliff if he is not replaced. Jackson is not doing some strange start-high negotiation tactic. He’s an elite corner who deserves to be paid as such.
What teams would be interested in Jackson if he leaves? The Chargers have been rumored to have a great deal of interest in signing him. Both the Raiders and Dolphins have defenses that are coached by former Patriots assistants. If they splash the cash, Jackson could be on his way.
If the Patriots decide that Jackson is too expensive for them, that is their prerogative. However, they would be parting ways with an elite defensive player at the peak of his powers. The salary might sound expensive to some, but he has justified such an extravagant payday.