FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP)The Chargers are trading cornerback J.C. Jackson to the Patriots, sending him back to where he began his career, according to a person with knowledge of the deal.
Los Angeles is also sending a 2025 seventh-round pick to New England, in exchange for a 2025 sixth-round pick, said the person, who spoke to The Associated Press Wednesday on the condition of anonymity because the trade had not been announced.
Jackson has struggled during his short time in Los Angeles since signing a five-year, $82.5 million contract last year. He will now be looking to return to the level of play he displayed after being signed as an undrafted free agent by New England in 2018. Jackson intercepted 25 passes over four seasons and earned second-team All-Pro honors in 2021.
“He had great years when he was here. I’m excited to see him back in a Patriots uniform,” linebacker Jahlani Tavai said. “When he does get back in the building it will be exciting.”
New England has an immediate a hole to fill on the outside after losing rookie cornerback Christian Gonzalez to a shoulder injury in last week’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys. It came just days after he was named Rookie Defensive Player of the Month for September. Cornerbacks Jonathan Jones (ankle) and Jack Jones (hamstring) both remain on injured reserve.
Jackson has appeared in just two of Los Angeles’ four games this season. He started in Weeks 1 and 2 against Miami and Tennessee. He appeared in 85 of 132 possible snaps in those games but struggled. He was targeted 12 times, allowing six receptions for 118 yards and a touchdown.
It led to him being a healthy scratch in the Chargers’ Week 3 win over Minnesota. He was then inactive for last week’s win over the Raiders.
“He probably doesn’t agree with the decision,” Chargers coach Brandon Staley said last week about not playing Jackson. “but the decision was communicated clearly, and the reason why. The acceptance of that is a different matter.”
Last season, Jackson played in only five games and allowed four touchdowns. He was benched during a Monday night game in Week 6 against Denver. He suffered a season-ending knee injury the following week against Seattle.
Jackson said recently that he is not fully recovered, but has shied away from putting a percentage on his level of health.
AP Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi contributed to this report.
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