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Patriots Cut Former Pro Bowl CB, Bolster Free Agency Class

The New England Patriots have released J.C. Jackson and he could end up being a possible open in free agency.



Pittsburgh Steelers JC Jackson
Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Dec. 7, 2023 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The New England Patriots are cutting cornerback J.C. Jackson, adding another name to the pool of potential free-agent cornerbacks that the Pittsburgh Steelers could consider signing. By doing so, they cleared over $14 million off their books, and Jackson, who was once a highly sought-after free agent when he signed with the Los Angeles Chargers, but his play fell off a dramatic cliff after leaving New England.

Jackson joins another veteran defensive back in Kevin Byard to be released in recent weeks. He is still just 28 years old and likely has some left in the tank. While he did not play to the level that landed him his huge contract, Jackson’s play in New England did tick back up to starter-level.

The Steelers have decisions in the secondary, with Patrick Peterson due a bonus on March 16th. He carries nearly a $10 million cap hit. General Manager Omar Khan left the door open to more moves being made before the new league year starts in over a week.

Jackson might not be the perfect fit for the Steelers, who could want a more proven option in recent years in free agency or a talented cornerback in one of the most vital classes the position has boasted in recent memory. They have shown interest in L’Jarius Sneed and Jaylon Johnson, so someone like Jackson would be a few tiers down from that, but it would be unsurprising to see them target someone with proven pedigree in the NFL.