New England Patriots rumors: 2 free agents that could replace Jackson

Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Casey Hayward Jr. (29) (Mandatory Credit: The Enquirer)
Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Casey Hayward Jr. (29) (Mandatory Credit: The Enquirer) /
1 of 2
New England Patriots
New England Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson (27) Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

With the calendar now flipped to March, the New England Patriots and the rest of the NFL are gearing up for the start of free agency. The legal tampering period (which is basically the unofficial start to free agency) is less than two weeks away now, meaning things are going to get hectic soon.

For the Patriots though, the chaos could end up beginning much sooner. They still need to do some salary cap work to create more cap space heading into free agency, as they only have a little over $8 million currently. And with the franchise tag deadline creeping up on March 8th, New England is going to have a lot more clarity on the status of their top free agent, J.C. Jackson.

Much has been made about Jackson’s impending free agency, and how his decision will determine what this offseason looks like for the Pats. Losing Jackson would obviously be a huge blow, and unless Bill Belichick decides to slap the franchise tag on him, there’s a good chance Jackson will be playing football elsewhere come next season .

The Patriots had multiple chances to extend Jackson before free agency, but failed to do so, and now run the risk of losing one of their top players. But they cannot sit and pout about losing one of their best players if that’s what ends up happening; they need to rebound quickly and identify his replacement, whether it be through free agency, draft, or a trade. If Jackson leaves and Belichick decides to pursue his replacement in free agency, here are two corners that could fit the bill.