Broncos To Waive S Kareem Jackson

3:15pm: The Broncos will move forward with the decision to waive Jackson, Mike Klis of 9News reports. Given the team’s decision not to activate ahead of last night’s game, the move comes as little surprise. Klis adds, however, that Denver intends to retain the veteran by signing him to the practice squad. Jackson is unlikely to garner much of a market on the waiver wire and if he clears, he will be free to re-join the Broncos. The news confirms Locke will continue in a full-time starting role.

12:44pm: Kareem Jackson‘s 2023 campaign has been marred by a pair of suspensions, and he has missed six games as a result. He is now eligible to return to the Broncos’ lineup, but it remains to be seen if that will take place.

The veteran safety was issued a four-game ban for repeated instances of unnecessary roughness, though he was able to have the ban reduced to two games on appeal. That was immediately followed by another hit using his helmet, however, which resulted in a new four-game suspension. Jackson has returned to practice with the Broncos via a one-week roster exemption, but it is set to expire today.

Denver would be required to open a roster spot to bring Jackson back into the fold. Notably, though, the team did not do so in time for yesterday’s game against the Patriots. The 35-year-old was thus a healthy scratch for a contest with signficant playoff implications. Chris Tomasson of the Denver Gazette reported over the weekend that the Broncos were taking a “day-to-day” approach with respect to getting Jackson back into game shape. A decision on activating or releasing him will now need to be made in the immediate future.

On that point, Denver7’s Troy Renck notes that the result of Denver’s Christmas Eve matchup could play in role in the team’s next move. The Broncos lost on Sunday night, dropping them to 7-8 on the season and dealing a signficant blow to their postseason chances. With a wild-card berth potentially out of reach, Renck adds the team may lean more toward a release than the comparatively easy decision of bringing him back into the fold had they won the game.

Jackson has been in Denver since 2019, serving as a full-time starter throughout his tenure there. For the third straight season, he finds himself on a one-year deal as he moves closer to the end of his career. With much of his 2023 salary ($2.52MM) having been paid out already, a release would not be expensive from Denver’s perspective. Moving on from the veteran would also solidify P.J. Locke as a starter, a role he has filled while Jackson served his suspensions.

Locke, a former UDFA, has enjoyed a career year in 2023. The 26-year-old has recorded 43 tackles, three sacks, one interception and two fumble recoveries this year, and he would be in store to add to that production if Jackson were to remain out of the picture. Locke is a pending free agent, so a first-team role to finish out the season could help boost his value on the open market.

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