The 2020 season has been a muffled breath of tainted air for Patriots fans. The loss of Tom Brady has highlighted roster shortcomings that the greatest QB in NFL history had normally been able to mask.
Now in TB’s absence they’re wearing Wal-Mart jerseys, Barstool wannabes are trying to sell getting excited about moving into 10th place, and in the ultimate penny-pinching negotiation tactic, the Pats chose to leave the NFL’s leading interceptor off the Pro Bowl ballot.
On the surface it doesn’t make much sense why the Pats would omit one of their most promising young players from documented league wide acclaim... until you do 27 seconds of research and see that it makes perfect sense.
The Patriots and Bill Belichick are notorious for low balling and coupon cutting when it comes to compensating employees so why would things change after striking gold with this undrafted free agent signing? Are the Pats trying to hurt JC’s case for a big deal this offseason by taking away one of his prime negotiating chips; a Pro Bowl berth?
When asked why JC was left off the ballot, a Patriots spokesperson said the following according to NESN:
“We listed the two cornerbacks who have started the most games at cornerback and who have the longest tenure, Jason McCourty (9 starts) and Stephon Gilmore (6 starts),” a Patriots team spokesperson told The Patriots Wire’s Henry McKenna.
While that statement is factual, Gilmore and McCourty do have more starts than JC’s four; both he and Jason McCourty joined the Patriots in 2018.
If starts are what matters most than I was the best stretch-5 in URI intramural basketball from 2011-2013 since I started every one of our games during a run that including three Final Fours and Fall 2012 championship while playing about 6 minutes per game.
JC Jackson might only have four starts, but he leads Patriot corners in downs played with 438 and the NFL in interceptions with 6. Reigning DPOY, Stephon Gilmore has missed three games and is on the ballot. The eye test tells you JC has been the Pats best CB in 2020 as well as the advanced metrics. (All via PFF)
I’m sure come contract time JC will hear the same spiel hundreds of players have heard before him: the Patriots (under Bill Belichick) don’t play for Pro Bowls, they play for Super Bowls.
This is such a part of the organization’s philosophy that they’ve actively avoided drafting a single Pro Bowler since 2013.
There isn’t even a Pro Bowl this season and most football people will tell you it’s a joke now and All-Pro honors matter much more, but the Pro Bowl is about recognizing the game’s best players. Through nine games J.C. Jackson has earned the right to at least be in the conversation of Pro Bowl Cornerbacks with his lead leaguing 6 interceptions; highlighted by 5 straight games with an INT.
I don’t know JC, but it’s human nature to want to be recognized for stellar performance, I can’t imagine he’ll forget about this stunt come contract time, but as we know the Patriots have zero issue cutting ties with a player “too soon rather than too late”. Maybe Bill wants him to leave to gain a first rounder? It sure wouldn’t be a bad return on an UFA they took a risk on and won a Super Bowl with.
Luckily this wrong has been righted as during the time I blogged this in between my lunch and free period break JC was added to the Pro Bowl ballot, but this is something to keep in your tickler file come spring time.
No malicious intent?
Sorry for the change in format that you may have not even noticed. Since I blogged this from my phone during school I didn’t embed tweets the old fashion way or link sources and even after I catch typos they’re nearly impossible to fix. #HireDozo