The Patriots waited until the last minute to cuff Jackson, opting for the second-round tender instead of the pricier $4.8 million first-round tender. The gamble seems to have paid off, as Jackson did not sign an offer sheet elsewhere. Jackson’s decision to sign does not necessarily mean he’ll be in New England this fall, however — the Pats could still flip him, as they did with Malcolm Butler a few years ago.
Jackson performed as one of the league’s better corners in 2020. Playing on 84 percent of the Patriots’ snaps, he intercepted a whopping nine passes, good for No. 2 in the NFL. He also notched 14 passes defensed with three fumble recoveries. Not bad for a former UDFA. His ball-hawking skills were also on display in 2018 and 2019, as he notched a combined five interceptions.
Even after the Patriots’ spending spree, there could be room to lock up Jackson for the long term. But, if they don’t, the Maryland product could fetch a sizable haul via trade.