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J.C. Jackson could be franchise tag candidate, should Rams look to make a deal?

LA should target Patriots corner to pair with Ramsey if New England doesn’t use its franchise tag

NFL: NOV 28 Titans at Patriots Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With an epic 2021 season in the rearview mirror, the Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams have a lot of work to do before the 2022 campaign. The offseason is in full swing and obviously rumors are going to run rampant (looking at you Aaron Rodgers) during this time.

Tuesday marked the first day NFL teams can place the franchise tags on players. Teams have until March 8 to designate players with the franchise or transition tags. While LA likely doesn’t have a great chance to add other tag options like Davante Adams for instance, they might have a shot at a star disgruntled cornerback in New England.

J.C. Jackson is ready to get paid and is willing to play on the franchise tag should it be offered. The problem is that according to him, the Patriots aren’t making his re-signing their highest priority.

“I guess they feel like they don’t need me,” Jackson said via NBC Sports Boston. “I guess I can’t be that important to them. I know I am, but they’re not showing me.”

Corner is clearly a position of need for Los Angeles and what better way to strengthen the secondary than to sign someone with the nickname “Mr. INT”? He would be a perfect compliment to Jalen Ramsey and especially given the aggressive nature of the Rams front office, this could be a real possibly. Look at his production and try to tell me you wouldn’t want him bringing down the clamps at SoFi Stadium next year.

“Jackson made the Pro Bowl and was named a Second-Team All-Pro for his performance in 2021. He finished the season second in the NFL with eight interceptions. No player has more picks since 2018 than Jackson (25)…According to Pro Football Focus, Jackson was third among NFL corners in terms of quarterback rating allowed (52.4).” via NBC Sports Boston

Jackson has caught 17 interceptions within the last two seasons (including a career-high nine in 2020). J.C. would be a great addition to LA, but at what cost? Executives around the league believe Jackson will be paid as a top-five corner this offseason. Whether that will be in New England or somewhere else is anyone’s guess. As I keep saying, this would be a slam-dunk, dream signing, but it would be quite pricey based on the status of contracts given to the position in recent years.

“A contract in the $18 million per year range would slot him (Jackson) in ahead of Bills corner Tre’Davious White ($17.3 million per season) and just behind Saints corner Marshon Lattimore ($19.4 million) and Ravens corner Marlon Humphrey ($19.5 million). The market-setting contract at corner right now is the five-year, $100 million deal Jalen Ramsey inked with the Rams.” via NBC Sports Boston

The Rams already have a high-priced cornerback in Ramsey so it would be hard to imagine them dedicating another expensive option at the position. Even worse is that LA doesn’t have a whole lot of money to dish out to any possible free agents. According to Over the Cap, the Rams come in at No. 29 in offseason resources with only the Bucs, Cowboys and Bears slotting lower.

By now, I realize that fans shouldn’t worry about cap space or draft capital since Les Snead always finds a way to make things happen. The Patriots could also sign Jackson before the franchise tag date as well. But if that doesn’t happen, we know that the Rams have not shied away from making moves that people said couldn’t possibly happen.

Would J.C. Jackson be atop your 2022 Rams wish list?