The Patriots got a boost to their secondary Friday when cornerback J.C. Jackson signed his restricted free agent tender, putting him under contract for 2021.
The Patriots placed a second-round tender on Jackson, which sets his 2021 salary and cap number at $3.384 million. He will be an unrestricted free agent in 2022.
Jackson had until April 23 to receive offers from other teams, but restricted free agents rarely change cities in today’s NFL. Another team would have had to give up a second-round pick plus a free agent contract to acquire Jackson, and the Patriots would have had the right to match the contract.
Jackson, who was an undrafted rookie in 2018, has started 22 games and collected 17 interceptions in three seasons. The Patriots can still trade Jackson, and his salary is nonguaranteed, but in all likelihood, they can count on Jackson as one of their starting cornerbacks for 2021.
The Patriots also have Stephon Gilmore, Jonathan Jones, Jalen Mills, Joejuan Williams, Dee Virgin, and Michael Jackson under contract at cornerback. Jason McCourty is a free agent and has said he would be open to a return.