Patriots

These two AFC teams interested in Patriots free agent J.C. Jackson, per report

Patriots

New England Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson could be one of the most sought after NFL free agents this week with the market officially opening Wednesday.

Jackson was not franchise tagged by the Patriots and able to become an unrestricted free agent. The league's legal tampering period begins Monday at noon, when players and teams can agree to contracts but can't make them official until the new league year begins Wednesday.

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Jackson, as one of the top players at his position, seems destined for a massive payday. If the Patriots don't step up and keep him, the 25-year-old defensive back shouldn't have any trouble finding a new home.

The Los Angeles Chargers and Miami Dolphins are two AFC teams with interest in Jackson, per reports from NFL Media's Mike Giardi and Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Jackson tallied 58 total tackles, eight interceptions, one touchdown and a career-high 23 passes defensed in 17 games last season. No player has more interceptions than Jackson's 25 since the beginning of the 2018 campaign.

Losing Jackson would be a huge blow to the Patriots secondary -- a group that already lost star cornerback Stephon Gilmore via trade last October. Seeing Jackson go to an AFC team like the Chargers or Dolphins -- who could be competing with the Patriots for a wild card playoff berth in 2022 -- would make the situation even worse for New England.