Patriots Secure CB J.C. Jackson in Trade Amid Rookie Christian Gonzalez’s Season-Ending Injury

J.C. Jackson

New England Patriots Bring Back an Old Friend to Strengthen Secondary Amid Injury Woes The New England Patriots are making a strategic move to bolster their secondary following a series of injuries. According to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, on Wednesday, it was reported that the Patriots are trading with the Los Angeles Chargers for cornerback J.C. Jackson, in a deal that involves changing selections in the 2025 NFL Draft, including the sixth and seventh rounds.

Trading for J.C. Jackson

The trade for Jackson comes in response to the unfortunate injury to rookie cornerback Christian Gonzalez. Gonzalez suffered a shoulder injury in Week 4, causing setbacks for the Patriots. Rapoport’s sources indicate that he had to face a torn labrum in the first round, and potential surgery could keep him sidelined for the rest of the season.

J.C. Jackson’s Remarkable Journey

Jackson’s journey to the Patriots has been nothing short of remarkable. An undrafted free agent in 2018, Jackson climbed up the depth chart in New England to become a Pro Bowler in 2021, solidifying his presence in the NFL with 23 interceptions. He produced 17 interceptions in his final two seasons with the Patriots.

Jackson’s Stint with the Los Angeles Chargers

In 2022, Jackson inked a five-year, $82.5 million deal with the Los Angeles Chargers, with expectations that he might be a missing piece in their secondary puzzle. However, things didn’t quite pan out as anticipated.

Injury Woes in New England

Jackson struggled in Brandon Staley’s defensive scheme, battled injuries from the onset of the season, and got burned in his debut performance. He was benched in Week 6 of the previous season, then faced the tears of disappointment in Week 7, ending his season after just five games.

J.C. Jackson’s Remarkable Journey

J.C. Jackson’s Remarkable Journey

Upon his return to the lineup, Jackson’s fortunes didn’t improve much in 2023. In Week 1, he left a 99-yard gap and touched down three interceptions with reckless defensive pass interference against the Miami Dolphins. Jackson was healthy scratched in Week 3, and when he was back in action in Week 4 against Las Vegas, he made no significant impact.

Chargers’ Role in the Trade

Jackson confided in NFL Network’s Brecht Condon last week that he was “frustrated” with the Chargers’ decision in Week 3.

Chargers’ Role in the Trade

A week later, the LA Rams surrounded the corner. NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero reported that the Chargers are mostly footing the $12 million guaranteed salary of Jackson to facilitate the trade.

Christian Gonzalez’s Unfortunate Injury

Injuries in the secondary have posed a significant challenge for the Chargers. Gonzalez’s potential season-ending injury is the latest and most substantial blow to the cornerback group. The first-rounder had an impressive start to his career, winning Defensive Rookie of the Month honors for September and establishing himself as a promising candidate for Defensive Rookie of the Year.

New England’s Hopes for Jackson

New England hopes that Jackson’s knowledge of defense will help him make a comeback on the track after a tumultuous spell on the West Coast.

Sources: Patriots reacquire CB J.C. Jackson from Chargers

Patriots reacquire CB J.C. Jackson

Reports informed ESPN on Wednesday that the New England Patriots have struck a deal with the Los Angeles Chargers for cornerback BJ Jackson. The Patriots are sending a 2025 sixth-round pick to the Chargers, who will also receive New England’s pick in the seventh round for Jackson, according to a source who informed ESPN.

To facilitate the trade, the Patriots and Chargers are working again with Jackson on his remaining $9.33 million salary for 2023, which New England is covering almost $1.5 million, and the Chargers are working on the remainder through a signing bonus, sources told ESPN. Jackson’s contract, which runs through the 2026 season, remains intact. Patriots’ cornerback Carsten Gonzales, selected in the first round of this year’s draft, had to face an injury to his shoulder in Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys, a source told ESPN. Gonzales is considered a torn labrum and is expected to be out indefinitely.

Jackson signed a five-year, $82.5 million deal with the Chargers after four seasons with the Patriots. In his last season in New England, Jackson was an All-Pro and finished second in the NFL with eight interceptions. However, Jackson was never the same player with the Chargers. Instead, legal troubles, injuries, and disappointing play defined his time there.Last season, Jackson allowed the worst 149.3 passer rating in the league in the days after a season-ending torn tendon in his right knee in Week 7. This season, Jackson has a 72.0 passer rating when targeted, which is second-worst in the league when targeted, his career low was in New England, where he had a 46.8 passer rating in his final season.

It seemed like Jackson and the Chargers were heading in the right direction when Jackson made his first healthy scratch in three games against the Minnesota Vikings this season. When the Chargers cut ties with Jackson last week, coach Brandon Staley said his intention was to shadow the No. 1 receivers of opposing teams. However, Jackson was inactive.In the next game, against Davante Adams of the Las Vegas Raiders, one of the best receivers in the league, Jackson was mobile but did not play any snaps. He saw the sideline in consecutive weeks, but this time in street clothes when the Chargers won without him.Jackson, 27, played seven games in two seasons with the Chargers and had one interception. In his first four NFL seasons with the Patriots, he had 25 interceptions.

Patriots linebacker Ja’lani Tavai said, “When he was here, he had some great years. I’m very excited to see him back in a Patriots uniform. When he comes back into the building, he’ll be very excited.”Patriots cornerback Mac Jones added, “Great player. Obviously, he taught me a lot in my rookie year. He’s very unique—quick, aggressive, very skilled with the ball.”The Patriots play the New Orleans Saints this Sunday, and on December 3, they play the Chargers, giving Jackson a chance to face his former team.

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