J.C. Jackson got paid.
The former Terps’ cornerback agreed to a deal on Monday with the Los Angeles Chargers after four years in New England. The contract, a 5-year deal that in total could be worth up to $82.5 million dollars, includes $40 million in guaranteed money, according to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
With eight interceptions in 2021, Jackson tied himself with Lester Hayes and Everson Walls for the most interceptions by a player in their first four seasons since 1970 with 25, according to ESPN. He also scored his first career touchdown against the Carolina Panthers in a 24-6 New England victory. As a result of his standout play, Jackson was named second-team All-Pro by the Associated Press.
Jackson, who went undrafted in 2018, started 39 games for the Patriots over the last four seasons. In those four years, Jackson ranked among the league’s top corners in turnovers.
The Patriots and Jackson couldn’t agree to a deal, setting the former Maryland defensive back up for a big pay day. With a 5-year deal, Jackson figures to be a large part of the plans for a Chargers defense that recorded just 11 interceptions as a team in 2021.
Securing Jackson, who goes by the nickname “Mr. INT,” is Los Angeles’ third big defensive move of the off-season. Last week, they traded for linebacker Khalil Mack, dealing draft picks to the Chicago Bears. Also on Monday, the Chargers signed former Giants defensive tackle Austin Johnson.
Alongside Derwin James in the secondary, Jackson will be tasked with improving a Chargers’ defense that finished tied for 29th in points allowed and 23rd in yards allowed per game in 2021.
In a division that now features nine-time pro bowler Russell Wilson, along with four-time pro bowler Patrick Mahomes at quarterback, Jackson will be a key piece of a Chargers team trying to get back to the postseason for the first time since 2018.