Chargers GM reportedly apologized to players for signing Patriots CB J.C. Jackson

Patriots

“Telesco called the move a ‘swing and a miss.’”

New England Patriots defensive back J.C. Jackson warms up before an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass.
J.C. Jackson only played seven total games with the Chargers before landing back in New England. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

The 2023 season has been one to forget for Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson.

The veteran defensive back opted to not speak with the media following Sunday’s loss to the Commanders — a game where Jackson sat on the bench for the first two defensive series at Gillette Stadium. 

But his uneven tenure in New England stands as an improvement over his disastrous stint with the Chargers — with Los Angeles opting to deal him back to the Patriots just one season after it signed him to a five-year, $82.5 million deal in free agency.

Things apparently got so bad between Jackson and the Chargers that Los Angeles GM Tom Telesco stepped in during a defensive backs meeting to personally apologize for signing Jackson.

“Telesco told the group that signing Jackson was a mistake, according to multiple team sources,” ESPN’s Kris Rhim wrote on Monday in a piece mapping out Jackson’s short time with the Chargers. “He apologized for continuing to give Jackson opportunities, despite Jackson routinely showing that he wasn’t as committed as the rest of the team while being one of the Chargers’ highest paid players. Telesco called the move a ‘swing and a miss.’”

According to team sources in Rhim’s piece, Jackson took on a “lackadaisical” approach with the Chargers, with the “final straw” coming in Week 4 when Jackson refused to enter the game against the Raiders after being benched for the first three quarters.

Jackson ultimately played just seven total games for the Chargers in 2022 and 2023, missing most of his first campaign due to a ruptured Patellar tendon injury. As noted by CBS Sports’ Tyler Sullivan, opposing quarterbacks posted a 149.3 passer rating while targeting Jackson in 2022, completing close to 67 percent of their passes.

The Chargers ultimately decided to deal Jackson back to the Patriots along with a 2025 seventh-rounder in exchange for a 2025 sixth-round pick. Los Angeles even picked up most of his remaining salary this season.

Added to New England’s secondary grouping following season-ending injuries to Christian Gonzalez and Marcus Jones, Jackson put together a strong showing against Stefon Diggs and the Bills on Oct. 22.

But the following week wasn’t as kind for Jackson down in Miami, with the veteran burned for two touchdowns in coverage during New England’s 31-17 loss to the Dolphins.

Jackson ultimately played in 53 snaps on Sunday against the Washington Commanders, with Shaun Wade (13 snaps) getting the start as one of New England’s corners.


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