Tuesday is potentially a pivotal one for the New England Patriots. It marks the first day that NFL teams can place the franchise tag or transition tag on their impending free agents.
Cornerback J.C. Jackson has long been a strong candidate to be tagged. It’s typically reserved for young, talented players who are coming out of their rookie contracts having significantly outperformed them. Jackson is in line for big-time money if he hits unrestricted free agency, but his position also pays very well on the franchise tag. The Patriots could buy themselves one more year with the 26-year-old if they’re willing and able to pay the tag number.
The franchise tag for cornerbacks across the NFL is widely projected to be just over $17 million. Jackson would almost certainly land a contract worth around that much annually, if not more. He would not be overpaid if he played on the tag for a year, and would remain attractive as a potential trade chip. Over The Cap has a full list of projected 2022 NFL franchise tag numbers by position.
Jackson is one of three defensive backs on track for free agency who seem to be candidates for the franchise tag. The others are Bucs cornerback Carlton Davis and Bengals safety Jessie Bates III, both of whom are ranked among the Sports Hub’s top-25 free agents.
Teams across the NFL have until March 8 to place the franchise tag or transition tag on any of their impending unrestricted free agents, so they have a few weeks to make a decision. In addition to the top defensive backs, keep an eye on Packers wide receiver Davante Adams, Chiefs tackle Orlando Brown, Chargers wideout Mike Williams, and Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz in this regard. Keep scrolling down to get up to speed with all the key dates on the 2022 NFL calendar.
Nov 18, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; New England Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson (27) runs after intercepting a pass against the Atlanta Falcons during the fourth quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 06: J.C. Jackson #27 of the New England Patriots makes a catch during warm up before the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium on December 06, 2020 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 01: J.C. Jackson #27 of the New England Patriots catches an interception during a game against the Buffalo Bills at Bills Stadium on November 01, 2020 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
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