This article originally appeared on USA TODAY Sports+: Chargers acquire J.C. Jackson, bolt into offseason with 'sense of urgency'

Chargers acquire J.C. Jackson, bolt into offseason with 'sense of urgency'

Tyler Dragon
USA TODAY Sports+

Los Angeles is the land of stars.

And the Chargers are building a blockbuster defense to complement what is already a high-powered offense.

The team is set to sign free-agent cornerback J.C. Jackson to a five-year, $82.5 million deal, a person with direct knowledge of the situation confirmed to USA TODAY Sports+. The person requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the deal.

Jackson is arguably the top free agent available at any position. His 25 interceptions are tied for the most by a player in their first four seasons. He’s tallied 148 tackles and 53 pass deflections.

MORE:J.C. Jackson leaves Patriots for Chargers on five-year, $82.5 million contract

Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson celebrates after intercepting a pass in the end zone against the Tennessee Titans in the second half Sunday at Gillette Stadium.

The Chargers are bolting into the offseason with a bang.

And Jackson’s arrival is a major boon for the the team as they attempt to overhaul a defensive unit that ranked 23rd in the NFL and was last in the league in third down efficiency. In addition to Jackson, the Chargers acquired former NFL Defensive Player of the Year and three-time All-Pro pass rusher Khalil Mack in a trade with the Chicago Bears. NFL Network was the first to report the news.

RELATED:Chargers land six-time Pro Bowl pass rusher Khalil Mack from Bears in trade, per reports

Mack and Jackson join a Chargers defense that boasts edge rusher Joey Bosa and strong safety Derwin James. The four players have 13 combined Pro Bowl selections.

On offense, the Chargers have two 1,000-yard receivers in Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, a versatile running back with over 1,500 yards from scrimmage in Austin Ekeler, arguably the best center in football in Corey Linsley and a franchise quarterback with a rocket arm in Justin Herbert. 

Los Angeles has talent on both sides of the football. 

The only glaring weakness on the Chargers — that the team hasn’t already addressed — is their 30th-ranked defense. The Chargers have agreed to terms with DTs Sebastian Joseph Day and Austin Johnson, according to multiple reports. Expect the club to draft or sign more defensive linemen during the offseason. Solidifying right tackle, guard and linebacker are secondary needs.

The AFC West is currently in an arms race as teams attempt to keep pace with a Kansas City Chiefs club that's won the division six straight times. However, the Chargers have enough talent across the board to compete for a division title and earn their first playoff berth since 2018.

“There’s a sense of urgency in the building. There always has been since I’ve been here," Chargers general manager Tom Telesco said. "We just have to keep working on it and try to get over that hump to get in the tournament, and then make a run from there."

The Chargers' current moves validate their sense of urgency. 

Telesco has only made the playoffs twice as general manager of the Chargers. The Chargers (9-8) failed to reach the postseason last year with six Pro Bowl players — and to make matters worse, they witnessed their housemate Rams win a Super Bowl. 

The Chargers can't sit idle this offseason. They are loading up for an important 2022 season that will allow no excuses.

It’s playoffs  — at the very least — or bust for the 2022 iteration of the Chargers.