Kareem Jackson has been a key part of every Texans secondary this decade, but in advance of his ninth season, the plan will be for him to line up at a different position.
The Texans are planning to move Jackson from cornerback to safety this season, Bill O’Brien said during an interview on Sports Radio 610 (Twitter link, via John McClain of the Houston Chronicle). Jackson has started 108 games at corner for the Texans since arriving as a first-round pick in 2010.
Houston may be thinner at safety than it expected, with Andre Hal being recently diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The Texans signed Tyrann Mathieu and plan for him to work exclusively at safety, and they used a third-round pick on Justin Reid. But Jackson, who is entering his age-30 season, is now expected to factor into this mix.
Johnathan Joseph re-signed with the Texans this offseason, and the team added slot corner Aaron Colvin as well. They join 2015 first-rounder Kevin Johnson. Working as Houston’s slot cornerback, Jackson started 14 games last season. He rated as Pro Football Focus’ No. 95 cornerback in 2017. He fared much better in 2016, rating as the advanced metrics site’s No. 35 corner (and fifth among full-time slot corners).
Jackson is the Texans’ longest-tenured player. He’s signed through the 2018 season and stands to earn $9MM this year.
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