3 Patriots Vets on the Chopping Block After Youth Movement Comments

New England Patriots wide receiver DeVante Parker (1) tries to avoid New York Giants cornerback
New England Patriots wide receiver DeVante Parker (1) tries to avoid New York Giants cornerback / Kevin R. Wexler / USA TODAY NETWORK
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For the last 24 years, Patriots fans were often left in the dark about the direction of the franchise during the rule of Bill Belichick. Well, the same can't be said since the reins were handed over to Eliot Wolf and Jerod Mayo this offseason.

One such objective that the team's decision-makers have emphasized publicly? A "youth movement" of sorts.

If the front office's intention is to usher in young talent, then there will undoubtedly be some veterans that feel the fallout as their spot on the roster and payroll numbers are freed up to make way for the wave of young players.

In light of the recent comments by Wolf and Mayo, here are three Patriots that could be on the chopping block and on their way out of New England.

3. J.C. Jackson

During last year's NFL Draft, New England already began to invest in youth at the cornerback position, selecting Christian Gonzalez out of Oregon with the 17th overall pick. At only 21 years old, Gonzalez stepped right in as one of the Patriots' best players on the defensive side of the ball before suffering a season-ending injury on Oct. 4.

Beyond Gonzalez, the Patriots have several more young players that they could give more snaps to at the corner spot, including: Alex Austin (22), Marco Wilson (24), Shaun Wade (25), Isaiah Bolden (24), and Marcus Jones (25).

J.C. Jackson, 28, re-joined the Patriots after an unmitigated disaster of a stint with the Los Angeles Chargers. He signed a lucrative five-year, $82.5 deal with the Chargers, but would only appear in seven games over the course of two seasons for the franchise before he was traded back to New England.

Even once returning to New England, Jackson was benched for a period after violating team curfew and was eventually placed on the non-football injury list, where he finished the season.

If the Patriots were to move on from Jackson, either through a trade or outright releasing him, the team could free up $14.375 million in space, a good chunk of change that they could add to their already astronomical salary cap space heading into free agency.

The financial relief that parting ways with Jackson would bring the Patriots, combined with the wealth of bodies at the position, means Jackson could very well be out of the door in New England yet again.