The Broncos entered this free agency period with needs at multiple secondary spots. They are signing a player with experience at both of them.
Denver reached an agreement to sign Kareem Jackson, Mike Klis of 9News tweets. It’s a three-year deal for the longtime Texans cornerback/safety. Jackson will join the Broncos for $33MM, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, who adds the veteran defender will receive $23MM fully guaranteed (Twitter link).
This marks the second key defensive back the Texans have lost in the past two hours, with Tyrann Mathieu reaching a record-tying agreement to join the Chiefs. For the Broncos, Jackson adds some interesting flexibility and is coming off a Pro Bowl-caliber season. A nine-season Texans starter, Jackson was Houston’s longest-tenured player.
Pro Football Focus’ No. 14-graded cornerback in 2018, Jackson began the 2018 season at safety. He fared well there before being moved back to corner. The former first-round pick has been regarded as a top-flight tackler at the corner position throughout his career. The 2019 season will be Jackson’s age-31 campaign, so if he sticks at cornerback, Denver will have two corners north of 30.
Jackson’s impending deal may have interesting implications for longtime Broncos stalwart Chris Harris, who is no longer the team’s highest-paid corner. Jackson’s contract eclipses Harris’ by a considerable margin. Jackson has yet to make a Pro Bowl. Considering the soon-to-be 30-year-old Harris is one of this era’s premier corners, it will be interesting to see how Denver addresses the four-time Pro Bowler’s situation. The Broncos are believed to be discussing a Harris extension, but nothing is imminent on that front.
The Broncos also have a need at safety opposite Justin Simmons, with the team having released four-year starter Darian Stewart. While most of Jackson’s NFL experience has come at corner, and he should be considered likely to replace Bradley Roby as the starter opposite Harris, the team may have an interesting fallback option for the well-compensated free agent.
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