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Instant Analysis: Why the Bolts Moved On From J.C. Jackson


The Chargers have moved on from J.C. Jackson as the team announced Thursday they have traded cornerback to New England. Along with Jackson, the Chargers will send a 2025 seventh-round draft pick to New England in exchange for a 2025 sixth-round draft pick.

It goes without saying that this is certainly not what the Bolts envisioned when they signed Jackson as a free agent last offseason.

But sometimes things simply don't work out, whether that's in football or in life, and the Chargers front office decided this was the best course of action to take.

The writing was on the wall a bit, as Jackson was inactive in Week 3 against the Vikings. And although he was active in Week 4, he didn't play a single snap on defense or special teams.

Jackson was never quite a fit with the Chargers for a myriad of reasons. Injuries certainly played a part, whether it was a late-August ankle surgery in 2022 or a torn patellar tendon midway through last season.

Credit Jackson for busting his tail to get back on the field for training camp. But in the seven total games that he did suit up in powder blue, he never looked like the player he was in New England … which is coincidentally where he's now headed.

According to Pro Football Focus, Jackson played 49 snaps in coverage this season. Among players with that many coverage snaps, he ranked 99th of 112 cornerbacks who with a 47.1 coverage grade.

The Bolts will likely see Jackson again this season, as the Chargers play at the Patriots in Week 13.

The focus now shifts to Asante Samuel, Jr., Michael Davis and Ja'Sir Taylor, but that trio had clearly been the Chargers starting group the past two weeks. And it's a group the Bolts have plenty of belief in.

Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley was asked about that unit Monday.

"I thought that the group [Sunday] had a really quality performance, I thought they all did things that really allowed us to play team defense at a high level," Staley said. "I thought we executed our game plan and made a lot of winning plays.

"That group played really well together in the secondary. I'm really proud of that group's performance, the preparation," Staley added. "That's two weeks in a row that I felt like the guys have really given us a strong chance to win the game."

Perhaps the Bolts look to add another cornerback to their group in the weeks ahead, but they will rely on that trio going forward.

Remember that the Chargers played their best ball down the stretch in 2022 when Jackson was sidelined with his serious knee injury. The hope for 2023 was that he would add a spark and make the secondary even better.

That didn't happen, and the Chargers simply felt it was just time to move on.

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