15 Patriots Who Won't Return for the 2024 Season

Don't expect these Patriots players to return to New England in 2024.
Jan 7, 2024; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) warms
Jan 7, 2024; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) warms / David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
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11. J.C. Jackson

Undrafted out of Maryland, J.C. Jackson signed with the New England Patriots and spent the first four seasons of his career with the Patriots. In his last season with New England, Jackson earned second-team All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors. He parlayed this standout year into a big payday, heading west to the Los Angeles Chargers on a five-year, $82.5 million deal.

Jackson's tenure with the Chargers was nothing short of an unmitigated disaster. In his last game with the team, he refused to go into the game, even when his teammate had been injured. He was traded back to the Patriots on Oct. 5 with a seventh-rounder for a 2025 sixth-rounder.

Concerns about Jackson's character and commitment only grew when he reunited with the Patriots. He was benched to start the team's game against the Washington Commanders over a curfew violation. This incident also factored into the team's decision to leave him behind when they traveled to Germany to face the Indianapolis Colts.

After being listed as active for the team's Week 15 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, Jackson didn't play and wasn't spotted on the sidelines, raising questions. Jackson's agent told ESPN's Adam Schefter that his client was dealing with "mental health issues" that prevented him from playing.

Following the incident, the cornerback was placed on the non-football injury list and did not appear for the rest of the season. Obviously, Jackson hopefully receives the help and support that he needs.

He still has a whopping three years and $42.5 million in cap hits left on his contract. No team will take on that albatross of a contract via a trade, especially after Jackson didn't respond positively to the last time he was traded. The 28-year-old is a strong candidate to be cut if the Patriots want to free up some of that cap space.