FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - SEPTEMBER 13: J.C. Jackson #27 of the New England Patriots drops into coverage during an NFL game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Sep. 13, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass.
Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Patriots Reunite With All-Pro Cornerback In Surprise Trade

The New England Patriots are reuniting with former All-Pro cornerback JC Jackson in a trade with the Chargers.

Fresh off the most lopsided loss of Bill Belichick's career, the New England Patriots are pulling out all the stops trying to stem the tide of a 1-3 start, reuniting with former cornerback JC Jackson.

Wednesday, the Patriots re-acquired cornerback JC Jackson in a trade with the Los Angeles Chargers, to add a proven veteran presence to a secondary that's been off to a rather uninspiring start to the 2023 campaign. Jackson arrives back in New England along with a 2025 seventh-round pick, in exchange for a sixth-round pick being shipped to the Chargers.

NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport broke news of the trade.

Jackson, 27, spent the first four seasons of his career in New England, prior to signing a five-year contract with the Chargers back in 2022. He simply never lived up to expectations in Los Angeles' secondary, finishing with a mere 15 total tackles with one interception over that span.

Sunday afternoon, leading up to the trade, the Chargers made Jackson active but didn't play him a single defensive snap. Los Angles was so eager to move on from Jackson, that the Chargers made the trade despite triggering a $15 million dead-money charge in 2024.

Back in New England, Jackson should see the field immediately, especially given the fact that rookie cornerback Christian Gonzalez could miss the remainder of the 2023 season, according to Ian Rapoport.

Prior to signing with the Chargers, Jackson was one of the premier players at the position in the entire league. At 6-foot-1 and 198 pounds, the former undrafted free agent intercepted 25 passes while adding 129 tackles with four tackles for loss through his first 62 career games, including 39 starts.

The Patriots are betting on scheme familiarity, and a reunion with Belichick, to bring out the best in Jackson, while providing some stability both in Gonzalez's absence and potentially as a mentor in the secondary for the rookie corner for years to come.

Jackson will get a crack at his former team, when the Patriots host the Chargers on December 3.

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