Top 3 New England Patriots free agents that need to be re-signed

Ja'Whaun Bentley #8 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
Ja'Whaun Bentley #8 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images) /
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New England Patriots
New England Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson (27) Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports /

New England Patriots free agent that needs to be re-signed No. 1: J.C. Jackson

The Patriots top priority this offseason is without a doubt J.C. Jackson. Jackson has developed into a true number one cornerback who can hang with the opposing teams’ top wideout, and you cannot really put a price on that. Jackson had the unenviable task of replacing Stephon Gilmore this season, and he made most Patriots fans forget that Gilmore was even a part of the 2021 team.

The problem is that the Patriots don’t have a lot of room to work with here. Both sides have shown an interest in reaching a deal, but at this point, New England would have to utilize a large chunk of their cap space to bring back Jackson. Considering how thin the Pats salary cap situation is right now, it doesn’t exactly make the situation look great.

The good news is that the front office is only just getting started with their offseason work. There’s a lot of dead weight on the roster as currently constructed, and it’s safe to expect moving on from those unhelpful pieces will clear up some cap space. Jackson could be looking at deal worth somewhere near $20 million per year, so the next few weeks could be crucial if the team intends on bringing back Jackson.

The other avenue the team could use is the franchise tag, but that’s obviously a less than ideal scenario. Franchise tag valuations aren’t set yet, but it’s looking like the tag for a cornerback would be around $17 million. Of course, New England could tag Jackson and then look to trade him, but I would consider that one of the least likely solutions at this point.

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Since the Patriots season has ended, no new information has really come out regarding Jackson’s status. He seems to want to to re-sign with New England, but he also wants to get paid. It’s a delicate line for the Pats to walk, but if they play their cards correctly, they will end up with Jackson taking back the spot he made his own this season as the team’s top cornerback.