The J.C. Jackson era in Los Angeles has not gone according to plan. Originally entering the league as an undrafted free agent, Jackson spent four years with the New England Patriots, establishing himself as one of the better cornerbacks in the NFL. After hitting free agency, the Chargers signed him to a massive five-year deal to be their lockdown cornerback of the future.
Update: This likely explains why Jackson was a healthy scratch
Chargers CB J.C. Jackson violated the terms of his probation, and a Massachusetts judge today issued an arrest warrant after he failed to appear in court Friday.
— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) September 25, 2023
That hasn’t come to fruition. Despite the lofty contract, Jackson has been arguably the worst cornerback in football over the past two seasons. The big-money free agent was an active liability last year before his season-ending injury, and he hasn’t gotten any better. Jackson struggled through the first two weeks of the season before being a healthy scratch in Week 3. At this point, it’s time for the Chargers to cut their losses and see if they can get anything for him.
According to OverTheCap, the Chargers can free up to $12 million in cap space by trading Jackson. Obviously, they will not get much in return, and there is a decent chance that nobody offers anything for his services. However, there are a few teams that could be willing to take a risk on the former Second-Team All-Pro.
5 Teams That Could Land J.C. Jackson
New England Patriots
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before – a homegrown talent leaves New England for a big-money deal, crashes and burns, and then comes back to the Patriots and seemingly recaptures his old form overnight. If this sounds familiar to you, it’s because this sort of thing happens all the time. While Jamie Collins is the poster child for this career path, J.C. Jackson could be the next in line. Rookie cornerback Christian Gonzalez has hit the ground running, but New England needs another cornerback with Jonathan Jones, Marcus Jones, and Jack Jones all battling injuries. Jackson obviously fits the scheme and if anyone knows how to get the most out of him, it’s Bill Belichick.
The Seattle Seahawks found a diamond in the rough with Geno Smith, now they need to get a defense to complement the offense. Tariq Woolen is picking up right where he left off as a rookie, but Devon Witherspoon isn’t playing up to his top-10 draft status. Jackson could provide some much-needed depth in a division that features Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, Cooper Kupp, Puka Nacau, and Marquise Brown.
First-year Baltimore Ravens cornerback Rock Ya-Sin has played well, but the rest of the Ravens cornerbacks haven’t been anything more than just ok. Head coach Jim Harbaugh has a history of getting the best out of his players and it’s hard to think of a division with better wide receivers than the AFC North. Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins are obviously the biggest names, but somebody also needs to cover Amari Cooper, Diontae Johnson, and George Pickens.
After three weeks of action, the 2-1 Detroit Lions find themselves tied with the Green Bay Packers for the top spot in the NFC North. The Lions have one of the better offenses in the league, but the defense has room for growth. Detroit has a platoon of adequate starters, but they lack someone with the ability to follow a team’s top receiver and lock him down for the entire game. J.C. Jackson hasn’t been that guy since 2021, but it might be worth taking a flier to see if the Lions can bring out his former glory.
Kansas City Chiefs
2022 first-round pick Trent McDuffie is turning into one of the best young cornerbacks in the league. However, everyone else on the Chiefs cornerback depth chart leaves something to be desired. It’s highly unlikely that the Chargers would ever trade anybody to Kansas City’s roster, especially when both teams are contending for the Super Bowl. However, if the Chargers truly believe J.C. Jackson is broken beyond repair, perhaps they’d be willing to send him to the Chiefs.
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