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Taking another look at the Patriots trading for JC Jackson!

J.C. Jackson's Return to the New England Patriots: A Trade Worth Revisiting

In a stunning turn of events, the Los Angeles Chargers have decided to trade cornerback J.C. Jackson back to the New England Patriots just a year and half after signing him to a lucrative five-year, $85 million deal in the 2022 offseason. The move sent shockwaves through the NFL.

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The Chargers' Acquisition of J.C. Jackson

The 2022 offseason was marked by several high-profile free-agent signings, with J.C. Jackson's move to the Chargers among the most notable. Jackson, a talented cornerback who had previously played his entire career with the Patriots, was one of the top free agents available. The Chargers saw an opportunity to bolster their defense by securing Jackson's services.

Jackson was coming off a stellar season with the Patriots, having recorded eight interceptions in 2021, which led the league. He made his first Pro-Bowl and All-Pro team. His reputation as a ball-hawking cornerback and a lockdown defender made him an attractive target for teams in need of secondary help. The Chargers believed that Jackson could be a key piece in their quest for a Super Bowl.

The Downfall of J.C. Jackson in Los Angeles

Unfortunately, Jackson's tenure with the Chargers did not go as planned. Despite the high expectations and the significant financial investment, he struggled to replicate the success he had enjoyed in New England. His play was disappointing, and he failed to make the impact that had been anticipated. This underperformance left many questioning the wisdom of the Chargers' massive investment.

Trade Talks Emerge

As the season progressed, trade rumors started to circulate around Jackson. It became apparent that the Chargers were looking to move on from the former All-Pro corner. Meanwhile, the Patriots, had a top corner in rookie Christian Gonzalez. Gonzalez was having a great season, but went down with an injury and was ruled out for the remainder of the season. They need to be able to replace Jackson's presence in their secondary and Jackson was the right choice for the loss of Gonzalez. On top of that, he was a low risk, high reward for New England.

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The Trade Details

Ultimately, the trade that sent J.C. Jackson back to the New England Patriots materialized, and the details were rather surprising. The Chargers agreed to send Jackson and a 2025 seventh-round pick to the Patriots in exchange for a 2025 sixth-round pick. The terms of the trade were intriguing, with the Patriots essentially getting their former star cornerback back for the price of a late-round pick.

Chargers Tenure

In 2022, Jackson allowed a career-worst 149.3 passer rating when targeted before suffering a season-ending injury when he ruptured his patellar tendon in his right knee midway through the year. In 2023, Jackson is allowing a 72.0 passer rating when they target him which is second worst of his career. Three weeks ago, Jackson was healthy, but did not play at all in their win vs the Raiders. The week before, they played the Vikings and he was fully healthy. However, right before the game started, he was ruled out and was listed as a healthy scratch. Jackson was not happy with the team and was not sure why he was not playing and listed as a healthy scratch. After week 3, it seems as though both the Chargers and Jackson were ready to move on. During his time with the Chargers, he had only 1 interception. While, when he was with the Patriots he had 32 interceptions in just four years.

A Win-Win for Both Teams

This trade appears to be a win-win for both the Chargers and the Patriots. The Chargers can free up significant cap space by parting ways with a player who didn't live up to expectations, while the Patriots regain a talented cornerback who was a key part of their defensive success in previous years.

For the Chargers, the 2025 sixth-round pick offers some value, even though it may not immediately replace a player of Jackson's caliber. With extra cap space, they have the opportunity to address other areas of need and potentially make additional moves to improve their roster.

The Patriots, on the other hand, are happy to welcome back a familiar face in J.C. Jackson. His return to the team provides stability and familiarity in the secondary, which was lacking during his absence. For the price of a sixth-round pick, the Patriots have effectively resolved their cornerback situation and added depth to their roster.

The NFL offseason is often filled with unexpected twists and turns, and the return of J.C. Jackson to the New England Patriots is a prime example. While Jackson's initial move to the Chargers was met with excitement and anticipation, it is his return to the Patriots that has taken the NFL world by surprise. Only time will tell whether this reunion will lead to a resurgence in Jackson's career and further success for the New England Patriots.

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