The New England Patriots acquired cornerback J.C. Jackson from the San Diego Chargers on Thursday in exchange for swapping late-round draft picks in 2025, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Jackson, who went drafted in 2018, began his NFL career in New England and spent four seasons with the Patriots where he won a Super Bowl. The 27-year-old joined the Chargers in March 2022 after signing a five-year, $82.5 million deal.
According to ESPN, the teams are reworking the remaining $9.33 million salary owed to Jackson for this season with the Patriots paying nearly $1.5 million and the Chargers taking on the rest in a signing bonus. The remainder of his contract, which runs through 2026, will not be adjusted.
It was a necessary move for the Patriots who will be without rookie cornerback Christian Gonzalez for the rest of the season after he suffered a torn labrum during Sunday’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
“To trade at this point, somebody has to be available,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said this week when asked if injuries would spur the team to make a trade.
Jackson, a former All-Pro, had not been an impact player this season in San Diego. He only played two games, recording three tackles and an interception, and was a healthy scratch Week 3 against the Minnesota Vikings. He was in uniform this past Sunday against the Las Vegas Raiders but did not see the field.
Jackson’s first season with the Chargers was cut short after five games due to a season-ending non-contact patellar tendon rupture.
Legal issue have also followed Jackson. In Dec. 2022, he was arrested for a ‘non-violent family issue’ and last month had an arrest warrant issued for him in Massachusetts for failure to appear in court on traffic charges.
Gonzales, meanwhile, has been a big piece of the Patriots’ secondary since going 17th overall in last spring’s NFL Draft. The 21-year-old has played all but one snap this season and was recently named the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Month for September after recording an interception, a sack, and 13 solo tackles.