JC Jackson knows this is his time to take advantage of it. He’s just wondering if he’ll be with the Patriots or not.
Jackson He told NBC Sports Boston on Tuesday that the Patriots had not been in contact with him about a new contract since the end of the season.
“I think they feel like they don’t need me,” Jackson said. “I guess I can’t be that important to them. I know I am, but they don’t show me.”
Tuesday marks the first day that NFL clubs can mark their players’ franchise. It is estimated that the angles sign pays a guaranteed one-year salary of about $17 million in 2022.
Jackson said he would be open to playing on the card if the Patriots took that route.
“I love the game,” he said. “If they tag me, I’ll go in there and play.”
NFL clubs have until March 8 to designate players with franchises or transfers. While Jackson has admitted he will play on the card, his goal is to get to a team where he knows he will have the opportunity to spend the next four or five years.
Jackson said the Patriots approached him about extending the contract through the 2021 season. Although no deal was struck at the time, Jackson said there were no hard feelings from his end about the result.
“They were all positive things,” he said. “I wanted to focus on the ball at the time. I wanted to finish the season the right way. I didn’t really get back to them.”
Jackson played the 2021 season in a second-round bid that was signed off last season at $3.38 million. As an unbelievable rookie, Jackson spent the first three years of his playing career on base salaries of $480,000 (2018), $570,000 (2019), and $750,000 (2020).
Jackson made the Pro Bowl and earned the Second-Team All-Pro title for his performance in 2021. He finished the second season in the NFL with eight interceptions. No player has had more choices than Jackson (25) since 2018.
Back in early October, an AFC executive told NBC Sports Boston that Jackson could be pushed as one of his top five corner kicks this season.
“Twenty-five years,” the official said. “A product like everyone else.”
A contract in the $18 million per year range that would put him ahead of Bills Corner Tre’Davious White ($17.3 million per season) and behind Saints corner Marshon Lattimore ($19.4 million) and Ravens corner Marlon Humphrey ($19.5 million). The contract to put the market in the corner now is a five-year, $100 million deal that Galen Ramsey signed with the Rams.
According to Pro Football Focus, Jackson ranked third among the NFL Corners in terms of average allowable rating (52.4).
Former Jets general manager and longtime NFL CEO Mike Tannenbaum ‘The Next Pats’ podcast said last week That the Patriots must find the money to keep Jackson. After spending record sums in the last off-season, the Patriots are currently set to be in the bottom half of the league in available cover space.
“You have to keep it,” Tannenbaum said. “He flips the ball. You pay a premium for that. Obviously, they let Stefon Gilmore go. He can play man to man, and he’s got good feet. But most importantly, he’s got the ball skills and for me, that’s very important because you’re talking about who you should be.” Paying and not paying.
Evidence is that the Patriots want to keep Jackson, and they have two weeks to decide whether or not they want to use the franchise. If they choose to use the tag, the Patriots can buy themselves some time into the new league year (which begins March 16) to negotiate a long-term deal with Jackson.
Should Jackson make it to the open market, the highest paid free agent corner is expected this off-season, thanks in part to the dearth of superstars available. Former teammate Stefon Gilmore and Carlton Davis of Tampa Bay, might be the next two hottest picks on the market.
“Whatever happens is going to happen,” Jackson said. “I’m taking it day in and day out. But it’s time for me to get paid. It’s time to get paid for Mr. INT.”
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