Patriots Secure J.C. Jackson: A Game-Changer for the Depleted Secondary
The New England Patriots have made a strategic move to reinforce their depleted secondary by bringing back a familiar face
According to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, the Patriots have traded for Chargers cornerback J.C. Jackson. Sources close to the deal revealed that New England and L.A. are exchanging sixth and seventh-round selections in the 2025 draft.
This decision follows the unfortunate injury suffered by rookie corner Christian Gonzalez during the Patriots’ Week 4 loss in Dallas. Gonzalez dislocated his shoulder, and subsequent reports indicated a torn labrum, making it likely that he’ll miss the rest of the season post-surgery.
Jackson, who initially joined the Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2018, rose through the ranks to become a Pro Bowler in 2021. During his time with the Patriots, he led the NFL in passes defended (23) and recorded 17 interceptions in his final two seasons with the team.
In 2022, Jackson signed a substantial five-year, $82.5 million contract with the Chargers, who had high hopes for him in their secondary. Unfortunately, his stint in Los Angeles didn’t go as planned. Jackson struggled with injuries early on, had a rough start to the season, and eventually faced a patellar tendon tear, sidelining him after just five games.
The 2023 season proved to be equally challenging for Jackson. He faced difficulties on the field, including a significant defensive pass interference penalty and limited playing time. His confusion regarding the Chargers’ decision to bench him in Week 3 highlighted the turbulent period he experienced in Los Angeles.
In a surprising turn of events, the Chargers decided to part ways with Jackson, with reports indicating that they are covering most of his $12 million guaranteed salary to facilitate the trade. As part of their roster adjustments, the Chargers claimed former Broncos cornerback Essang Bassey off waivers.
For the Patriots, injuries in the secondary have posed significant challenges. The absence of Gonzalez, especially considering his promising start to the season, has further heightened their concerns. The team is optimistic that Jackson’s familiarity with their defensive strategies will aid his return to form, offering much-needed support to their beleaguered secondary.