According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Patriots have assigned a second-round tender to restricted free agent J.C. Jackson. Any team that signs Jackson to an offer sheet would have to compensate the Patriots with a second-round pick, making it a possibility that teams could consider adding the talented cornerback. Had New England chosen a first-round tender, it would make it far more unlikely teams would choose to pursue negotiations with Jackson.
The Maryland product has improved every season since making the team as an undrafted rookie in 2018, leading the league in interceptions over the last two seasons with 14 total picks, five in 2019 and nine in 2020. He also had 14 passes defended in 2020 and has not missed a game since his rookie year.
Teams will now have until April 23 to negotiate a contract with Jackson, then the Patriots would have the chance to either match the offer or accept a second-round draft pick.