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2021 NFL free agency: Patriots reportedly tender cornerback J.C. Jackson at second-round level

Related: Patriots free agency tracker: News, rumors, signings, instant analysis

NFL: JAN 03 Jets at Patriots Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The New England Patriots have tendered cornerback J.C. Jackson at the second-round level, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.

New England had until the opening of the league year at 4 p.m. ET Wednesday to extend a qualifying offer to the 25-year-old restricted free agent.

The tender that Jackson received stands at a non-guaranteed $3.384 million for 2021. Additional options included the $4.766 million tender for the first round, the $2.183 million tender for the original round as well as the $2.133 million tender for first refusal only.

Jackson can now negotiate with other clubs through April 23. The Patriots reserve the right to match prospective offer sheets and would otherwise receive second-round draft compensation.

Since landing with New England as an undrafted rookie in 2018, Jackson has appeared in 45 games and made 22 starts. The corner by way of the Florida Gators, Riverside City College Tigers and Maryland Terrapins has intercepted 17 passes over that span — a tally that ranks behind only Miami Dolphins first-team All-Pro Xavien Howard’s 18.

Nine picks were recorded by Jackson last regular season. He set a franchise record by recording one in five consecutive games and added 40 tackles to go with three fumble recoveries.

Jackson played a career-high 84 percent of the defensive snaps in the process, starting every contest from November into January at a position led by former NFL Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore. The 30-year-old Gilmore finished the campaign on injured reserve due to a partially torn quadriceps and has a base salary of $7 million with a $16.264 million cap number upcoming in the final year of his pact with New England.

Also under contract for the 2021 depth chart are Jonathan Jones, Joejuan Williams, Justin Bethel, Myles Bryant, D’Angelo Ross, Michael Jackson Sr., Dee Virgin and ex-Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Jalen Mills, who agreed to terms during the NFL’s legal tampering window.

Veteran Jason McCourty is scheduled to enter unrestricted waters Wednesday.