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

Mark Daniels
The Providence Journal

The Patriots have officially lost their No. 1 cornerback.

J.C. Jackson has agreed to a five-year, $82.5 million contract with the Los Angeles Chargers, a person with knowledge of the deal told USA TODAY Sports' Mike Jones. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement could not become official until Wednesday. Jackson gets $40 million in guaranteed money. The 26-year-old came to New England as an undrafted free agent and quickly turned into one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. On Monday, he was paid like one.

Jackson earned first-team All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors last season. He led the Patriots with an NFL-high 23 passes defended to go with eight interceptions. Jackson has turned into one of the most dangerous defensive backs in the NFL. His 25-career interception led all players since 2018.

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New England Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson (27) reacts after intercepting a pass in the Tennessee Titans end zone in the second half at Gillette Stadium.

The Patriots must now turn their attention to rebuilding their cornerback depth chart. Their safety position seems set with Devin McCourty, Kyle Dugger and Adrian Phillips. At cornerback, they return No. 2 corner Jalen Mills and slot cornerback Jonathan Jones. The only other outside corners on the roster are Shaun Wade and JoeJuan Williams.

It is expected that he Pats will explore free agent and draft targets at the position.

In Los Angeles, Jackson will be part of a defense also adding star pass rusher Khalil Mack, whom the team is set to acquire from the Chicago Bears.