Patriots

Pro Bowl CB lobbies for J.C. Jackson to land hefty new contract

Patriots

The word is officially out about "Mr. INT."

New England Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson recorded another interception in Thursday's 25-0 rout of the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, drawing praise from his sidelined teammates.

Jackson now has four interceptions in his last five games and six on the season, second in the NFL behind Dallas Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs. Jackson's 23 career interceptions are the most ever by a Patriots player through four seasons, and New England still has six games remaining in 2021.

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Based on those numbers, Jackson is in line to receive a substantial raise after his one-year, $3.4 million contract expires this offseason. How much of a raise, you ask? Philadelphia Eagles Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay has an idea.

Los Angeles Rams star Jalen Ramsey is the only NFL cornerback making $20 million per year. So, Slay is basically saying Jackson should be the highest-paid corner in the league.

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It's not uncommon for players -- especially defensive backs -- to advocate for their position mates. The more Jackson gets paid, the more the market for cornerbacks rises, and the more Slay potentially could make on his next deal. (Slay has a potential opt-out after this season).

It's also unlikely that a team pays Jackson (who has yet to make a Pro Bowl) $20 million per year. But there's a good chance the 26-year-old demands north of $10 million, which would put the Patriots in a tough spot. New England is tight on salary cap space after spending big in 2021 free agency and wasn't willing to keep Stephon Gilmore around on a $7 million deal this season.

 

The Patriots may decide Jackson is worth the cost in 2022, but they'd have to pay up to keep "Mr. INT" around.