The J.C. Jackson era in New England is over as the Pro Bowl cornerback is expected to sign with the Los Angeles Chargers in free agency.
Jackson's deal with L.A. reportedly is for five years, $82.5 million. He joins safety Derwin James in the secondary of an impressive defense that also includes star edge rusher Joey Bosa. On top of that, the Chargers recently traded for veteran outside linebacker Khalil Mack.
"Love LA. Love Cali. Not only that, the defense, I think I can add some value to that defense," Jackson told our Phil Perry on Monday. "That's a stacked group, and imagine me [there]... It's going to be scary."
Jackson originally was signed by the Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2018. The 26-year-old spent four seasons in New England and made his mark on the league in 2020 when he tallied nine interceptions. He followed that up with eight interceptions in 2021 with a league-high 23 passes defensed.
"It was a great experience," Jackson told Perry about his time in Foxboro. "Learned a lot. Got a chance to win a Super Bowl. Got to play with great players, play for one of the best coaches ever in Coach Belichick. I want to thank them for everything they did for me."
In a conversation with Perry last month, Jackson revealed he Patriots hadn't reached out to him about a new contract ahead of free agency. New England ended up reaching out to Jackson with an offer around the time of the NFL Scouting Combine, but at that point he was ready to test out the free-agent market.
Jackson's departure leaves the Patriots with Jalen Mills, Joejuan Williams, Shaun Wade, Jonathan Jones and Myles Bryant on their cornerback depth chart. Perry recently highlighted the free-agent cornerbacks who could be realistic options for New England, which you can check out here.