Patriots Release JC Jackson

The Patriots have parted ways with cornerback JC Jackson ahead of free agency.

Nov 26, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Jalin Hyatt (13) hauls
Nov 26, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Jalin Hyatt (13) hauls / Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
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J.C. Jackson's second stint with the New England Patriots came to an expected end as the cornerback was released on Friday, a move that frees up even more cap space for New England. Releasing Jackson was a long-anticipated move, as his release frees up an additional $14.375 million to New England's already whopping cap space and pushes the team's total cap space up around $100 million.

Jackson's last few NFL seasons have been tumultuous. He began his career with the Patriots as an undrafted free agent out of Maryland and spent 2018-21 in New England, earning a Super Bowl LIII ring and second-team All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors in 2021. Jackson cashed in on that standout season by joining the Los Angeles Chargers on a hefty five-year, $82.5 million contract. Jackson would only suit up for seven games for the Chargers before he was shipped back to the Patriots on Oct. 5 this season after a disastrous experience in Los Angeles.

Jackson was jettisoned from the Chargers after a tenure that was so problematic that Chargers general manager Tom Telesco apologized to the team for signing the defensive back. Character and commitment concerns carried over once the 28-year-old returned to New England, as he was benched to start their Week 9 game against the Washington Commanders after a curfew violation. General "concerns over his reliability" led to him being left stateside when the Patriots traveled the next week to Germany to face the Indianapolis Colts.

With the substantial cap space at their disposal, Patriots fans are optimistic that they could "burn some cash" as new head coach Jerod Mayo vowed earlier in the offseason. Although Mayo attempted to walk back that comment on Thursday, New England will undoubtedly break out the checkbook to a few players this offseason, via in-house extensions or otherwise. Jackson's release gives the new brain trust even more capital to work with.

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