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Patriots Don't Use Franchise Tag On J.C. Jackson

BOSTON (CBS) -- As expected, the New England Patriots did not place the franchise tag on J.C. Jackson. The cornerback is now free to hit free agency next week.

Using the franchise tag on Jackson would have kept him in New England, but it would have come with a $17.3 million price tag. With the Patriots dealing with a tight salary cap situation, that dollar amount was going to be tough to fit into the 2022 plans.

Jackson, 26, has the most interceptions in the NFL since the start of the 2019 season, with 22. He picked off nine passes in 2020 and followed that up with eight interceptions in 2021. He led the NFL with 23 pass defenses last year while also setting a career high in tackles (58), solo tackles (44) and tackles for a loss (2). He also forced his first fumble and earned his first All-Pro (Second Team) and Pro Bowl honors.

Jackson initially joined the Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2018. On a roster with Stephon Gilmore and Jason McCourty, Jackson played roughly half of the Patriots' defensive snaps as a rookie, though he played a significant role in the Patriots' run to the Super Bowl that season. The snap count number jumped to 68 percent in 2019, 84 percent in 2020, and 88 percent in 2021.

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