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Patriots release J.C. Jackson

Jim McIsaac / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The New England Patriots announced Friday they released cornerback J.C. Jackson.

New England will free up $14.4 million in cap space by cutting the veteran defensive back, according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler. The Patriots are now projected to have the most cap space ahead of the new league year with $101.6 million, per Over the Cap.

Jackson spent close to five seasons over two stints with the Patriots. He left the organization as a free agent in 2022 after signing a five-year, $82.5-million contract with the Los Angeles Chargers. The former Maryland star played his first four NFL campaigns (2018-21) with New England.

Jackson gradually evolved into a reliable piece of the Patriots' secondary. His best season came in 2021 when he led the league with 23 passes defended along with eight interceptions to earn the only Pro Bowl nod of his career.

He ultimately played just seven games with the Chargers after sustaining a patellar tendon injury that prematurely ended his 2022 campaign. Jackson started the first two contests of the 2023 season for Los Angeles but soon found himself out of the starting rotation.

New England reacquired the 28-year-old in a trade with the Chargers on Oct. 4. Jackson played in eight games and made six starts in his second stint last season. He recorded 25 tackles and six passes defended in his return to the Patriots.

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