FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — You want an interception? Properly, you have come to the appropriate place as there is no participant hotter within the NFL proper now at selecting off opposing quarterbacks than J.C. Jackson. Simply previous to halftime of Sunday night time’s 23-17 win over the Ravens, the Patriots nook was capable of leap in entrance of a Lamar Jackson go supposed for Marquise Brown and create the turnover, giving him 5 in as many video games. That is not solely a franchise file for New England, however Jackson is the one participant within the final 5 seasons to go on such a streak.
“That is a tricky query,” Jackson mentioned when requested what his secret is. “I imply, I am a playmaker, man. I understand how to play the ball fairly effectively. I really feel like I turn out to be the receiver. After I go up for the ball, I turn out to be the receiver and I make a play on the ball, each probability I get.”
The 24-year-old, who now has six complete interceptions on the season, is checked out as one of many brightest up-and-coming gamers the Patriots have to supply. His rise to prominence carries with it much more weight whenever you connect the unsure way forward for Stephon Gilmore alongside it. Whereas signed by means of 2021, Gilmore will possible be in search of a contract restructure this offseason that places him extra aligned with the elite corners within the NFL. Due to Gilmore’s age (he turns 31 subsequent season), extending him at prime greenback will not be one thing Invoice Belichick and the Patriots brass will need to entertain, which then opens up the opportunity of the 2 sides transferring on this spring.
Naturally, that’s extra palatable with a legit nook already in-house, which is why Jackson’s play this season is encouraging for the long-haul together with the right here and now. Whereas he has gone by means of his highs (five-game interceptions streak) and lows (permitting two touchdowns vs. New York in Week 9), the younger nook has the potential of evolving into a real No. 1 nook.
With all that mentioned, Jackson, who’s on the finish of his rookie contract, is about to turn out to be a restricted free agent this offseason, which places New England on the doorstep of one other resolution within the secondary. If a long-term deal is not agreed upon previous to free company, the first-rounder tender is probably going Jackson’s destiny. Below that circumstance, the Patriots would have the flexibleness to match any supply that comes Jackson’s approach and in the event that they resolve to go, they’d purchase a first-round choose. Given how effectively he is performed all through his younger profession coupled together with his age (he is nonetheless 24 by the beginning of subsequent season), the Patriots would most certainly lean on the facet of holding him round for the foreseeable future, fairly than roll the cube on the unpredictability of that first rounder.
Regardless, they’re taking a look at fairly the asset in Jackson as they transfer ahead into this new period and it seemingly solely will get extra promising with every passing week.