Broncos To Re-Sign S Kareem Jackson

6:04pm: Jackson is set to earn slightly more than his 2022 salary on this deal, with 9News’ Mike Klis indicating the experienced defender will collect $2.67MM on the one-year pact (Twitter link).

3:56pm: Less than two weeks after a reported offer came out, the Broncos have managed to retain Kareem Jackson. The veteran safety is re-signing in Denver on a one-year deal, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link).

This marks the third straight offseason in which Jackson has agreed to a one-year contract with the Broncos, though the cornerback-turned-safety is now set for his fifth season in Denver. After initially giving Jackson a three-year, $33MM deal in 2019, the Broncos have continued to use the veteran alongside Justin Simmons.

The Broncos and Jackson had been in talks for a bit now, and the team extended another offer to the 14th-year veteran recently. Jackson has played for less money in each of the past three seasons, coming back for $5MM in 2021 and $2MM last season. While the Broncos are moving to a third head coach in three years, Sean Payton is signing off on retaining the experienced defender. GM George Paton, who released Jackson from his above-referenced three-year deal in 2021, said in March the team still had the veteran on its radar. Paton has now authorized three Jackson one-year accords.

Although the Broncos first signed Jackson a few weeks after firing Vance Joseph from his HC post, the returning Denver DC has coached the former first-round pick previously. While working under then-Texans DC Wade Phillips from 2011-13, Joseph was the Houston defensive backs coach. Joseph joins Simmons, linebacker Josey Jewell and free agency import Zach Allen as those with experience under Joseph on Denver’s defense. Jackson, 35, and Simmons, 29, form one of the NFL’s longest-tenured safety duos in recent years.

Denver’s defense maintained top-10 form despite Vic Fangio‘s departure last year, and Jackson ended the season as one of its most consistent components. As injuries ransacked the unit throughout the slate, Jackson played 17 games, a team-most 1,139 snaps and finished with a career-high 94 tackles. Pro Football Focus ranked Jackson just outside the top 50 among safeties last season.

A physical presence at corner, Jackson moved to safety full-time when he joined Fangio’s defense in 2019. Among safeties, Simmons and Jackson each rank in the top 11 in solo tackles since joining forces four years ago. Jackson signing on for another year points to the Broncos keeping third-year safety Caden Sterns as their top backup. The primary Jackson or Simmons injury fill-in since arriving as a 2021 fifth-round pick, Sterns is coming off season-ending hip surgery and is not a lock to be ready for training camp.

The Broncos obviously have spent another offseason making sweeping changes, with Payton now in charge. But the team now has all five of its primary DB starters under contract and re-signed linebacker Alex Singleton to continue his partnership with Jewell. Denver’s starting defense has only lost Dre’Mont Jones this offseason, and Allen — who played four years under Joseph in Arizona — is ticketed to replace him, furthering the familiarity on the defensive side.

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