The Patriots have not been in contact with cornerback J.C. Jackson regarding a new contract, Jackson told NBC Sports Boston’s Phil Perry on Tuesday.
“I guess they feel like they don’t need me," Jackson said in the interview. “I guess I can’t be that important to them. I know I am, but they’re not showing me.“
The 26-year-old has been with the Patriots since 2018, when New England signed the undrafted corner on an entry-level contract. Jackson quickly became a pivotal cog in New England’s secondary, ending the 2021 season with 44 solo tackles and a league-leading 23 passes defended.
The second-team All-Pro said the Patriots talked with him about a contract extension last season, though it was not done on time. At that time, Jackson remained optimistic, looking to focus on football and wanting to end the season on the right foot.
Jackson also said he is open to playing on the franchise tag if New England chooses to put it on him. NFL teams can start putting tags on players starting Tuesday, until March 8.
“I love the game,” he said. “If they tag me, I'm gonna go out there and play.”
Jackson told NBC Sports Boston that he is open to being tagged, but is mostly focused on ending up on a team where he has a long-term future.
The Patriots finished the 2021 season 10–7, and as the No. 6 seed in the AFC. They were blown out by the Bills in the wild card round, falling 47–17.
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