An undrafted free agent of the New England Patriots back in 2018, cornerback J.C. Jackson jumped on to the scene as a third-year player for the team this past season. The Maryland product recorded 40 tackles, 14 passes defended and an eye-opening nine interceptions.
Pro Football Focus metrics note that the 25-year-old Jackson has allowed a mere 51.5% completion mark since joining the Patriots in 2018. As an undrafted free agent, Jackson hit the open market as a restricted free agent this past March. In turn, New England handed him a second-round tenure that the former Terp star almost immediately signed.
Even then, there’s no guarantee that Jackson will be on the Patriots’ roster in 2021. According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, the Pats are potentially looking to move him ahead of or during the coming 2021 NFL Draft. Here’s a look at three potential trade scenarios.
New England Patriots trade J.C. Jackson to the Kansas City Chiefs
- Patriots get: Second-round pick in 2021 (63rd overall), third-round pick in 2022
- Chiefs get: J.C. Jackson
It’s not a secret that Kansas City needs to find an upgrade or two at cornerback during the 2021 NFL Draft. Unfortunately, they are now likely to go offensive line in the first round after moving off starting tackles Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz earlier in the offseason. Yielding a low second-round pick next week and a future third rounder for Jackson would make the most sense here.
As for the Patriots, this is pretty much the best that they can ask for in return for a still-unproven and oftentimes inconsistent performer. Whether Bill Belichick and Co. trade Jackson to a conference rival that has won two consecutive AFC titles remains to be seen.
New England Patriots trade J.C. Jackson to the Tennessee Titans
- Patriots get: Second-round pick in 2021 (53rd overall), fourth-round pick (126th overall)
- Titans get: J.C. Jackson
This past season saw the Titans give up 36 passing touchdowns against 15 interceptions. Sure an anemic pass rush played a role here. With that said, it was one of the major downfalls for an otherwise good team. After having moved off Adoree Jackson and Malcolm Butler earlier in the offseason, cornerback is a need. With that said, the Titans are likely going to address the edge pass rush in the first round.
Rather than picking up a future selection, New England opts to add to its stockpile with this hypothetical trade. More than anything, it would enable Belichick and Co. to potentially move up the board in the first round for that much-needed quarterback. It almost makes too much sense.
New England Patriots trade J.C. Jackson to the San Francisco 49ers
- Patriots get: Jimmy Garoppolo
- 49ers get: J.C. Jackson, third-round pick in 2021 (96th overall)
To say that the Patriots have been linked to Garoppolo would be a massive understatement. After San Francisco moved up to the third pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, interest was still there from New England’s standpoint. The idea would be to reunite with Garoppolo and find an upgrade over Cam Newton. The issue here is that San Francisco is asking a first-round pick in exchange for Garoppolo. That’s a non-starter for the Pats.
Instead, the 49ers acquire a young cornerback who fits their scheme to a T. It’s a need even after San Francisco re-signed K’Waun Williams, Jason Verrett and Emmanuel Moseley in free agency. Add in the 96th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, and this is a move the 49ers might be willing to make.