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

The New England Patriots have agreed to a trade with the Los Angeles Chargers for cornerback J.C. Jackson, sources told ESPN on Wednesday.

The Patriots are sending a 2025 sixth-round pick to the Chargers, who will send Jackson and a 2025 seventh-round pick to New England, a source told ESPN.

To facilitate the trade, the Patriots and Chargers are reworking Jackson’s remaining $9.33 million salary for 2023, with New England covering around $1.5 million and the Chargers covering the rest in a signing bonus, sources told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. Jackson’s contract, which runs through the 2026 season, stays intact otherwise, the sources said.

Promising Patriots rookie cornerback Christian Gonzalez, the team’s first-round pick this year, suffered a shoulder injury in New England’s 38-3 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. A source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Gonzalez has a torn labrum and is out indefinitely.

Jackson signed a five-year, $82.5 million deal with the Chargers last offseason after four seasons with the Patriots. In his final year in New England, Jackson was an All-Pro and was second in the NFL with eight interceptions. But Jackson was never the same player with the Chargers. Instead, Jackson’s time was marked by legal troubles, injury and disappointing play.

Last season, Jackson allowed a career-worst 149.3 passer rating when targeted before suffering a season-ending rupture to the patellar tendon in his right knee in Week 7. This season, Jackson is allowing a 72.0 passer rating when targeted, the second worst of his career. In his final season in New England, he allowed a 46.8 passer rating.

It seemed that things might be headed in this direction with Jackson and the Chargers when Jackson was a healthy inactive for the first time since his rookie season in the Chargers’ Week 3 game against the Minnesota Vikings. When the Chargers signed Jackson last offseason, coach Brandon Staley said the goal was to have him shadow opposing teams’ No. 1 receivers. Although the Chargers were playing one of the top pass-catchers in the league in Justin Jefferson, Jackson was inactive.

In the days following that game, Jackson said he was “confused” by the benching and that he still wasn’t 100 percent healthy.

In the Chargers’ next game, last Sunday against another one of the league’s best receivers in Davante Adams of the Las Vegas Raiders, Jackson was active but didn’t play a snap. He watched from the sideline for the second week in a row, but this time in uniform, as the Chargers picked up their second win without him.

Jackson, 27, played seven games total in two seasons with the Chargers and had one interception. He had 25 interceptions in his first four NFL seasons with the Patriots.

“He had great years when he was here. I’m excited to see him back in a Patriot uniform. When he does get back in the building, it will be exciting,” Patriots linebacker Jahlani Tavai said.

Patriots quarterback Mac Jones added: “Great player. Obviously, he taught me a lot my rookie year. He is very unique — fast, aggressive, very good knack for the ball.”

The Patriots play the New Orleans Saints this Sunday, and on Dec. 3, they play the Chargers, giving Jackson an opportunity to face his old team.


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