FOXBOROUGH — J.C. Jackson, once a standout cornerback in New England, is making a return to Foxborough as the Patriots aim to reignite his once-promising career. The Los Angeles Chargers traded Jackson to the Patriots after just four games into the second season of his five-year mega contract, as reported by NFL Network.
In exchange for Jackson, the Patriots are sending 2025 sixth- and seventh-round picks to the Chargers, as per the report. Jackson had signed an $82.5 million contract with the Chargers before the 2022 season.
This move comes partly as a response to the Patriots losing rookie cornerback Christian Gonzalez for the remainder of the season due to a torn labrum, as reported by NFL Network.
The fact that Jackson fetched only late-round picks in the trade underscores his decline since emerging as one of the NFL’s top cornerbacks just before entering free agency in 2022.
Back then, the Patriots had chosen not to offer Jackson a contract, leading the cornerback-needy Chargers to make a notable move and secure his services.
However, the Chargers did not receive the value they anticipated from Jackson.
Over the course of two seasons, Jackson played in a total of seven games. Last season, he was benched by the Chargers during a Week 6 game against the Broncos, and his season concluded one week later due to a ruptured Patellar tendon injury.
Jackson also faced legal issues last year related to a “nonviolent family issue.”
In the current season, the 27-year-old was benched once again in Week 3 against the Vikings and did not participate in this past Sunday’s game against the Raiders. His tenure with the Chargers culminated with just one interception.
The Patriots are hoping that a return to their defensive scheme can revitalize Jackson’s career, especially considering the team’s disappointing 1-3 start to the season. Jackson initially joined the Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2018.
New England’s defense has faced challenges with the loss of top pass rusher Matthew Judon, who is expected to be sidelined for at least two months due to a torn biceps, in addition to Gonzalez’s season-ending injury.
In Week 5, the Patriots are set to host the Saints in a matchup between two struggling teams with playoff aspirations, while the Chargers enjoy their bye week.