New England Patriots: Bill Belichick dropping the ball with J.C. Jackson

ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 01: J.C. Jackson #27 of the New England Patriots catches an interception during a game against the Buffalo Bills at Bills Stadium on November 01, 2020 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 01: J.C. Jackson #27 of the New England Patriots catches an interception during a game against the Buffalo Bills at Bills Stadium on November 01, 2020 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) /

Once again, New England Patriots Head Coach/GM Bill Belichick is dropping the ball on a terrific player by not getting J.C. Jackson, a top cornerback signed to an extension.

This space ran an article on this topic before back in April, but the foot-dragging by Belichick on this boondoggle, especially with Stephon Gilmore’s situation up in the air, mandates another look.

This situation is truly mind-boggling. Will this guy never learn? Jackson had nine interceptions last season, nine! That’s not good enough to get paid with a long-term extension? If not, what is?!

New England Patriots can’t afford to play around with J.C. Jackson’s contract

Jackson is a former undrafted free agent who would certainly before all this drama likely have signed for a good and maybe even team-friendly deal. But now, he’s probably on his way out.

This is another example of botched personnel decision-making for whatever reasons might be at play by the Patriots majordomo of football. What is it about paying top players that is so hard to understand for this GM?

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Any cornerback who has the stats cited below in his three years with the Patriots to date deserves a new and a really good contract. Here’s what’s Mike Giardi wrote about Jackson’s  performance:

"… Since 2019, the Florida native has kept opposing receivers on lockdown, allowing the lowest passer rating in the league (per PFF), a paltry 48. That’s 14.4 rating points better than the cavalcade of stars that are second over that time: Tre’Davious White, Stephon Gilmore and Xavien Howard. Jackson also has more interceptions (14) than any defensive back during this stretch. Is he a legit No. 1 corner?"

To answer, he sure is. Jackson’s emergence was clearly predicted before. Now, he’s already near or at the top of the heap and it’s been speculated that a Pro Bowl appearance could very well be on the way this season.

In England, they call the football (i.e. soccer) managers, “gaffers”. When it comes to Bill Belichick’s general management skills, it’s to be taken literally. His personnel gaffes are numerous.

In addition, his free agency pickups have been relatively poor and his drafting, well, many NFL pundits have now come to the conclusion reached here years ago, that this guy doesn’t have a clue on how to draft.

This year’s solid draft only came about after one Mr. Robert Kraft uncharacteristically chimed in a very unusual, demonstrative, and poignant way.

The owner made it clear that he wanted a good draft and a quarterback (presumably a young draftee) in the fold. All was done, for once.

Related Story. J.C. Jackson predicted as a Pro Bowler in 2021. light

It’s really a shame this didn’t happen years ago when he had the best-of-the-best of quarterbacks of all time running the show.

There likely wouldn’t be room enough on the Gillette stadium walls to hold all the Super Bowl banners if he had.

The New England Patriots broomed Tom Brady and now may be kicking J.C. Jackson out of town

Belichick, of course, broomed this best quarterback ever because he was older and wanted to be paid, I guess, even though he was still performing at an amazingly high level.

Now he may be doing the same with Jackson, who from the outset has been a ball hawk par excellence with 17 interceptions in his first three seasons. That’s correct, 17. That’s three, five, and then nine interceptions in his first three years. That’s a super total.

Yet, Belichick once again seems is incapable of understanding that it’s the best players you pay not the scrubs.

Maybe it’s that BB likes to be a perpetrator of that term, “alienation of affection”. How many Patriots players has he … ticked off by not treating them as they should have been treated? A bunch of them is the answer.

Other examples besides Brady were Deion Branch, Ty Law, Asante Samuel, Akiem Hicks, Ted Washington, and Malcolm Butler. These players all contributed big-time (some on Super Bowl winners) and were allowed to leave the New England Patriots because he wouldn’t pay them.

Unless things change in a hurry, expect Jackson to leave after this season as an unrestricted free agent after he is motivated to garner maybe 10+ interceptions.

He’ll then say, “SEE Y’A” to the New England Patriots after being shabbily treated, as well he should.

Having watched this business all these years, it’s frustrating, to say the least. Belichick was never a very good GM, no matter how many toadies in NFL commentary circles try to make him out to have been so.

His drafts have for the most part been poor and a good number of his overall personnel decisions have been terrible.

Losing Jackson will just be another in a long series of personnel miscues made by Belichick. Thankfully, owner Bob Kraft finally realized that fact and laid down the law this past offseason.

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But rest assured, another flop in 2021 after spending truly a wagon load of Mr. Kraft’s money in free agency will not at all be appreciated by Mr. Kraft, the real top dog in New England.

This space is clear in predicting that 2021 should be a good, or dare we think even a great season once again? It’s possible.

Yet, alienating one (or possibly two, including Stephon Gilmore) of your best defensive players is not the way to lay a solid foundation for the future. It’s not a good way at all.