Patriots Urged to Sign Jaguars CB to Correct J.C. Jackson Mistake

J.C. Jackson

Getty The New England Patriots can correct their J.C. Jackson mistake.

Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots have been patching together a secondary since rookie Christian Gonzalez was lost for the season with a shoulder injury. Trading with the Los Angeles Chargers to bring J.C. Jackson back to Gillette Stadium “hasn’t been the answer,” according to Bleacher Report, with the site recommending Amani Oruwariye as an alternative.

Oruwariye is currently on the practice squad for the Jacksonville Jaguars, but he may already be well known to Belichick. The 27-year-old played two seasons for Belichick’s former defensive coordinator Matt Patricia with the Detroit Lions from 2019-20.

Ironically, Oruwariye’s best season came once Patricia left town in 2021, when he intercepted six passes. Those ball-hawking skills could be useful for the Patriots at a position that’s “been a mess this season,” with B/R also stating “the answers—outside of Christian Gonzalez—aren’t on the roster yet.”

Any move to add to a defense that’s still winning games for a struggling Patriots’ offense can only help Belichick’s team.

J.C. Jackson Trade Hasn’t Worked

Sending a sixth-round pick in the 2025 NFL draft to the Chargers for Jackson looked like the ideal way to replace Gonzalez. The latter landed on injured reserve after Week 4’s 38-3 defeat to the Dallas Cowboys.

Jackson had spent four seasons with the Patriots and become something of an interception machine. He picked off 25 passes from 2018-21.

A knack for getting his hands on the football, combined with an insider’s knowledge of Belichick’s man-based coverage schemes, made Jackson look like a bargain in trade. Things haven’t worked out that way during his second tour in New England.

Instead, Jackson has made six starts in eight games and allowed 394 yards on 29 completions, per Pro Football Reference. Jackson’s continued to flounder, even while the rest of the Pats’ defense has played tough.

The corner was shaky throughout Week 14’s 21-18 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Jackson was beaten by Diontae Johnson in single coverage for a touchdown in the second quarter.

His “effort level” was also dubbed “appalling” by Marcus Mosher of Raiders Wire.

Not much has gone right for Jackson, so the Patriots should try and get better returns from another cornerback who knows their system.

Amani Oruwariye Already Knows Patriots’ Style

Patricia is no longer assisting Belichick with the defense, but the former once helped craft the man-coverage system the Patriots still use. Although his attempts to transfer the same schemes to Detroit didn’t work, Patricia did help Oruwariye go from fifth-round pick to NFL starter.

Oruwariye learned how to make plays on the ball, but his opportunism couldn’t convince the New York Giants to keep him. The Giants signed Oruwariye in the offseason, but he was subsequently released and landed with the Jags in October.

One of Oruwariye’s biggest issues concerns penalties. The problem was highlighted by Nick Falato of SB Nation’s Big Blue View.

Getting grabby is a core of the Patriots’ coverage techniques. They still play press, so a few flags is the cost of doing business.

Taking a low-cost punt on Oruwariye is worth it for Belichick, despite ample numbers at the position. Players like Myles Bryant and Jonathan Jones have tried to fill in, but the Pats could use some more scheme experience on the outside.