Second-round tender for Jackson

The New England Patriots extended a second-round tender to restricted free agent J.C. Jackson
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We don’t know exactly how much the Patriots want to retain the services of cornerback J.C. Jackson.

But we’ll find out soon enough what the rest of the NFL thinks of his talents.

The Patriots have put a second-round tender on the restricted free agent, a move that became official Wednesday afternoon when the NFL announced all the free agents around the league.

This means that if a team offers Jackson a contract before April 23 and the Pats don’t want to match it, New England gets a second-round pick. A first-round tender would have made it less likely another team would sign the 25-year-old to an offer sheet, though it would have come with a higher guarantee for Jackson.

If Jackson signs the tender, he’ll make $3.38 million this season; a first-round tender carried a price tag of $4.77 million. He just completed his three-year rookie contract worth $1.72 million, according to Spotrac.

Jackson, who was undrafted out of Maryland, has been a playmaker for the Patriots defense the past three seasons with 17 interceptions in 45 games. He finished second in the NFL last season with nine interceptions.

The Pats’ secondary is in flux right now, with them reportedly on the verge of signing defensive back Jalen Mills away from the Philadelphia Eagles as an unrestricted free agent, and cornerback Stephon Gilmore consistently the subject of trade rumors.

The Pats also have Jon Jones and Joejuan Williams in the mix.

The question is whether they'll end up having Jackson.