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Free agent cornerback Charvarius Ward seen as perfect match for the Patriots

Related: Patriots free agency targets: What will New England do at cornerback if J.C. Jackson leaves?

NFL: NOV 21 Cowboys at Chiefs Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The New England Patriots are likely to lose J.C. Jackson in unrestricted free agency, which means that they will have to look elsewhere to bolster their cornerback depth. One option might be the Kansas City Chiefs’ Charvarius Ward, who himself is headed for the open market this week.

Ward was recently listed as a perfect match for the Patriots by ESPN’s Ben Linsey:

New England Patriots: CB Charvarius Ward

The Patriots have shown they’re more willing to let high-profile players walk in free agency, and there’s a decent chance that happens with J.C. Jackson.

Ward would be a cheaper alternative who makes sense in Bill Belichick’s defense as one of the few free-agent cornerbacks with good size and length and fits best in a man-heavy scheme. It would be a mistake to assume that Ward could step in as a true No.1 cornerback and replace Jackson’s production, but he projects as a quality starter on the outside.

The former rookie free agent had a good season as Kansas City’s top cornerback last year. He held opposing quarterbacks to a passer rating of just 76.1, giving up 53 catches on 101 targets for 615 yards as well as four touchdowns; he also caught a pair of interceptions.

Like J.C. Jackson, Ward also received the second-round restricted free agency tender last offseason and is now looking for his first major payday. That said, he will be significantly cheaper than Jackson.