The New England Patriots are losing star cornerback and free agent J.C. Jackson to the Los Angeles Chargers
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Monday afternoon that Jackson has agreed to sign a five-year, $82.5 million contract. The deal with the Chargers also includes $40 million guaranteed. The NFL's legal tampering period of free agency began Monday at noon ET. Contracts cannot become official until Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET when the new league year begins.
The Chargers have already made a splash this offseason when they traded for Chicago Bears pass rusher Khalil Mack. Jackson going to Los Angeles also reunites him with one of his high school teammates -- Chargers safety Derwin James.
The Chargers barely missed out on a playoff spot last season when they lost to the Las Vegas Raiders in the Week 18 regular season finale. The Patriots finished one game ahead of the Chargers and secured the No. 6 seed with a 10-7 record.
Jackson tallied 58 total tackles, eight interceptions and a career-high 23 passes defensed in 17 games last season. His 25 interceptions since the start of the 2018 season are the most of any player. The Patriots signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2018. Jackson won Super Bowl LIII with the Patriots during the 2018 campaign.
His departure leaves Jalen Mills, Jonathan Jones, Joejuan Williams and Myles Bryant atop the cornerback depth chart in New England. There isn't a true No. 1 cornerback in this group, so the Patriots will need to bolster it via free agency, the trade market and/or the 2022 NFL Draft.