5. NY Jets free-agent target: J.C. Jackson, CB
All of these entries, of course, come with the caveat of us not knowing whether these players will actually hit free agency or not. And that's definitely the case here with J.C. Jackson.
Jackson has long been one of the NFL's most underappreciated players, but he's finally gotten the chance to step out of Stephon Gilmore's shadow in 2021. And he hasn't disappointed.
The former undrafted free agent leads the NFL with 17 pass deflections, has a whopping seven interceptions in 13 games, and boasts a superb 77.6 Pro Football Focus grade. By all accounts, he's one of the best cornerbacks in the league.
Jackson already has 24 career interceptions in just 58 games including 16 over his last 29. He's a Marcus-Peters-level ballhawk and exactly what the Jets need in their secondary.
Unfortunately, it's hard to imagine the New England Patriots actually let him go. Jackson will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, but as one of the most important players on the Patriots' roster, they would be foolish to let him test free agency.
Their cap situation might be a little tricky after their shopping spree this past offseason, but they should be able to get a deal done with their young star cornerback.
If not, however, expect the Jets and the rest of the NFL to come calling.