Tuesday was a big day for the Patriots and J.C. Jackson. It was the beginning of the NFL’s franchise tag window, the earliest teams can apply the tag to potential free agents. Jackson, who is expected to be the Patriots’ highest-priced pending free agent, is considered a favorite to get the tag.
While it’s not a surprise that Jackson didn’t officially receive the tag on Tuesday – most teams don’t tag their players until the final days of the window in mid-March – it appears the distance between the two sides may be a little further apart than just the formality. Speaking with Phil Perry of NBC Sports Boston, Jackson offered insight into where things stand between he and the team.
“I guess they feel like they don’t need me,” Jackson told Perry, saying the team hasn’t been in touch with him regarding a new contract since the end of the season. “I guess I can’t be that important to them. I know I am, but they’re not showing me.”
Still, that doesn’t mean Jackson is done with the Patriots for good, even if it means playing under the projected $17.3 million franchise tag. “If they tag me, I’m gonna go out there and play,” he told Perry.
According to Perry’s interview with Jackson, the team did speak with the 26-year-old All-Pro cornerback about a contract extension during the 2021 season. “It was all positive things,” Jackson recalled to Perry. “I wanted to focus on ball at the time. I wanted to finish the season the right way. I didn’t really come back to them on it.”
A look at the Patriots' pending free agents for 2022
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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.