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J.C. Jackson is getting a head start on free agency. The New England Patriots announced Friday they've released the former Pro Bowl cornerback, one dozen days before free agency begins. 

By releasing Jackson, the Patriots are freeing up $14.4 million in cap space and now have over $100 million in cap space (h/t ESPN). 

A former undrafted rookie, Jackson intercepted three passes as a rookie while helping the Patriots win Super Bowl LIII. He picked off 25 passes during his first four NFL seasons and was named to the Pro Bowl in 2021. That season, Jackson recorded eight picks and led the NFL with 23 pass breakups. 

Jackson signed a whopping five-year, $82.5 million deal with the Chargers in March of 2022. Injuries, however, limited him to just five games that season. He was ultimately traded back to New England last October after the Patriots lost 2023 first-round pick Christian Gonzalez to a season-ending injury. Jackson played just two games during his one-season stint in New England. 

The 28-year-old Jackson will now look to restart his career with a new team. He joins a crowded field of veteran cornerbacks who are slated to be available when free agency opens on March 13, a list that includes Adoree' Jackson, Kendall Fuller, Stephon Gilmore, Micah Hyde, Michael Davis, Jeff Okudah, Kenny Moore and Chidobe Awuzie