New England signaled the deal was done after posting a GIF of Mr. INT, having led the squad in interceptions last year with nine, just one below Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard's league-leading 10 interceptions in 2020.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) April 16, 2021
After the Patriots gave him the second-round tender that made him a restricted free agent, other teams could have still pried him out of New England with an offer sheet, which the Pats could match. Had he signed an offer sheet elsewhere and had New England opted to let him go, the Patriots would have received a second-round pick from the team that signed him.
However, with the cost-cutting around the league due to salary constraints, it seems like the interest in restricted free agents have watered down this off-season.
This should give Jackson another year to prove his worth as he looks to carry the momentum from a stellar campaign with the Patriots in 2020. On the flip side, New England should have more time to assess whether they will make the 25-year a part of their long-term future.
Jackson has been quite the surprise for the Patriots. New England signed him as a free agent after going undrafted in the 2018 NFL draft. The former Maryland standout started in 11 games for New England last season and should continue to be a huge part of their defensive backfield next year.