Kareem Jackson

Texans Moving Kareem Jackson To Safety

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.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury Updates: Sullivan, Chargers, K. Jackson

We don’t cover every NFL injury at Pro Football Rumors, but generally if a quarterback or another notable player is expected to miss time, or if an injury is considered serious, we’ll pass that news along, since those are the injuries most likely to result in a roster move. Here are a few updates from around the NFL on injuries sustained in Week 7:

  • Vikings center John Sullivan, who underwent a lumbar microdiscectomy prior to the regular season, suffered a setback and had another surgical procedure, head coach Mike Zimmer said today (Twitter links via Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press). Sullivan is on the injured reserve list with the designation to return, meaning he’d be eligible to return as soon as Week 9, but according to Zimmer, the center’s odds of playing this season are minimal (Twitter link via Tomasson).
  • Ian Rapoport of NFL.com passes along updates on a pair of Chargers injuries, reporting that the team fears linebacker Denzel Perryman has a torn pectoral, while guard Orlando Franklin is believed to have an MCL injury (Twitter links). Both players were set to undergo MRIs today to assess the damage.
  • Texans cornerback Kareem Jackson will be out “for a while” due to a sprained ankle, head coach Bill O’Brien told reporters today, including Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link).
  • Browns head coach Mike Pettine said today that Josh McCown is day to day with a shoulder injury, adding that “if our starting QB is physically able to play, we’ll start him” (Twitter links via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com). Johnny Manziel, who is currently under investigation by the NFL over a recent off-field incident, would be next in line if McCown can’t go.
  • In other Browns injury news, free safety Jordan Poyer is expected to miss time due to a shoulder issue, per Pettine (Twitter link via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal).

AFC South Notes: Orakpo, Colts, Jackson

As we wait for Thursday’s free agent action to ramp up, let’s check in on some items from around the AFC South….

  • After visiting the Titans yesterday, Brian Orakpo remains in Tennessee and has yet to officially set up a time to visit the Cardinals, reports Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (Twitter links). A visit to Arizona is the plan for Orakpo if and when he leaves the Titans meeting, but as he said yesterday, “anything can happen.”
  • The Colts have signed Kendall Langford and Trent Cole and brought back Mike Adams in free agency, but after adding veteran running back Frank Gore, wide receiver Andre Johnson, and guard Todd Herremans on offense, the team figures to focus primarily on its defense in next month’s draft, tweets Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star. One exception, Holder notes (via Twitter), will be drafting a young running back, if the right guy is available.
  • Kareem Jackson‘s new deal with the Texans includes $16MM in fully guaranteed money, but practically speaking, the full guarantee is $20MM, since the cornerback gets a $4MM roster bonus today, tweets Albert Breer of the NFL Network.
  • According to Peter King of TheMMQB.com (via Twitter), a source close to Marcus Mariota advised King not to minimize the Titans‘ interest in the quarterback, suggesting they’re “very serious.” Whether that reported interested is legit or a smokescreen remains to be seen.

Contract Details: Suh, Cobb, Jackson, Graham

Here’s a round-up of a few notable details on new contracts from around the NFL:

  • Ndamukong Suh, DT (Dolphins); $60MM guarantee is fully guaranteed at signing (Twitter link via Pro Football Talk).
  • Randall Cobb, WR (Packers): Four years, $40MM base value. $13MM signing bonus. $3.5MM roster bonus in March 2016, $5.35MM cap hit for 2015 (Twitter links via Joel Corry of CBSSports.com).
  • Kareem Jackson, CB (Texans): Four years, $34MM base value. $9MM signing bonus. $4MM roster bonus due this weekend (Twitter link via Corry).
  • Brandon Graham, OLB (Eagles): Four years, $26MM base value. $4MM signing bonus. $14MM guaranteed (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun).
  • Cary Williams, CB (Seahawks): Three years, $18MM base value. $3.5MM signing bonus. $7MM guaranteed (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Mark Sanchez, QB (Eagles): Two years, $9MM. $2MM signing bonus. $5.5MM guaranteed. Escalators for playing time, playoffs (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Ryan Mallett, QB (Texans): Two years, $7MM base value. $1.75MM of $2.5MM 2015 salary guaranteed (Twitter link via Tom Pelissero of USA Today).
  • Brian Hartline, WR (Browns): Two years, $6MM base value. $1.5MM signing bonus (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Tyvon Branch, S (Chiefs): One year, $2.1MM base value. $200K signing bonus. $2MM in playing-time, INT, Super Bowl incentives (Twitter links via Wilson).

Texans Re-Sign Kareem Jackson

MONDAY: The Texans officially announced (on Twitter) that they have re-signed Jackson.

SATURDAY: The Texans have reached an agreement to keep Kareem Jackson in Houston, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN (via Twitter). Jackson will remain with the team on a four-year deal.

The four-year contract will be worth $34MM in total money, reports Adam Caplan of ESPN (via Twitter). The deal also includes $20MM in guaranteed money, according to Tania Ganguli of ESPN.com (via Twitter).

Jackson landed himself at number 21 on Pro Football Rumor’s Top 50 Free Agents, and figured to be highly sought after as one of the top free agent corners on the market.

The Texans selected Jackson 20th overall out of Alabama in the 2010 NFL Draft. He struggled during his first two NFL seasons, but improved and was considered the team’s top corner last season, surpassing veteran Johnathan Joseph.

Jackson himself is happy to be back with the team, according to his official Twitter account. “Wow!!!! I can’t begin to express how happy I am right now!! Definitely a great moment for me and my family right now!!!

Texans Rumors: Jackson, Newton, Reed

Here’s the latest out of Houston late on the Friday night before free agency gets underway:

  • According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter), it appears likely that Texans cornerback Kareem Jackson will reach the free agent market, where he’ll be among the more coveted defensive players available.
  • Several Texans beat writers, however, report that the team is still in negotiations with Jackson, and Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston tweets that the two sides are hopeful about getting a deal done at some point this weekend.
  • Per Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle and Tania Ganguli of ESPN.com (Twitter link), offensive tackle Derek Newton also continued to discuss a new deal with the Texans on Friday, and hopes to re-sign. According to Ganguli, it’s “very possible” that both Jackson and Newton remain with the team.
  • Outside linebacker Brooks Reed will hit the free agent market and isn’t expected to re-sign with the Texans, says Smith. Ganguli points out (via Twitter) that while the Texans have been engaged in talks with a few of their free-agents-to-be, including Jackson and Newton, they haven’t negotiated with Reed’s agent at this point.

AFC Notes: Fins, Broncos, FA Targets, Ravens

Always among the biggest players in free agency, the Dolphins will look to fill several holes when the new league year begins next week. Corner, defensive tackle, and linebacker are among the positions that could use upgrades in South Beach, and Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald offers several names that could be of interest to the Fins. Per Jackson, the Dolphins have internally discussed both Kareem Jackson and Brandon Flowers at corner, and the club also wants to re-sign Jimmy Wilson.

Along the defensive line, Miami is interested in Tom Johnson, Corey Peters, and Terrance Knighton, the latter of whom, as Jackson adds, will be the most expensive. Kenrick Ellis is viewed as a “backup option,” while Haloti Ngata will be on the Dolphins’ radar if he’s released by the Ravens. At linebacker, Jackson has previously reported that Miami is intrigued by David Harris, Mason Foster, and Dan Skuta.

Here’s more from the AFC:

  • Like the Dolphins, the Broncos are expected to be heavily involved in free agency, as they have been for the duration of GM John Elway’s reign. According to Mike Klis of the Denver Post, the Broncos will target a variety of positions next week, with offensive line, safety, tight end, and defensive end among them. Center Rodney Hudson, edge defender Pernell McPhee, and and tight end Charles Clay all figure to spark Denver’s interest, per Klis, who adds that center is the one position where the Broncos will surely add a high-profile free agent.
  • Ravens cornerback Victor Hampton was arrested for DWI last night, tweets Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. Hampton was signed to a futures deal in January, and given Baltimore’s low-tolerance for off-the-field incidents at the moment, Aaron Wilson of the Sun (via Twitter) doesn’t see Hampton ever setting foot on a field for the Ravens.
  • The Raiders haven’t officially released safety Tyvon Branch, leading Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap to believe (Twitter link) that Branch will be designated a post-June 1 cut. Such releases can’t be formalized until the new league year begins next week.
  • In a full-length piece, Fitzgerald takes a look at the Colts’ cap situation as they head into free agency. Check out PFR’s Connor Byrne’s Indianapolis outlook here.

Combine Pressers: Texans, Giants, Panthers

Earlier today, we recapped some noteworthy comments made by head coaches and general managers who spoke to the media this morning at the combine in Indianapolis. Those press conferences will continue through the afternoon until Falcons head coach Dan Quinn wraps things up with his appearance at 3:00pm central time. Here are some highlights from a few of the recent sessions, with all links going to the Twitter accounts of reporters in attendance:

Texans general manager Rick Smith and head coach Bill O’Brien:

  • Asked about how Larry Fitzgerald‘s new contract with the Cardinals might apply to Andre Johnson‘s situation in Houston, Smith said the club may have to address the veteran wideout’s cap number, but hopes to see him spend his entire career with the Texans.
  • Smith was very impressed with what he saw from quarterback Ryan Mallett in 2014, and said it was “apparent” he’d picked up leadership traits from Tom Brady during his time with the Pats. Both Smith and O’Brien said they’re hopeful Mallett, a free-agent-to-be, will be back in Houston. That’s not an uncommon sentiment at this time of year, but the enthusiasm coming from the Texans’ brass for Mallett seems genuine, and I’d be surprised if he ends up elsewhere.
  • Smith also expressed interest in re-signing cornerback Kareem Jackson.
  • While re-signing Mallett is a priority, the Texans intend to look at all the draft-eligible quarterbacks in this year’s class, though the top two likely won’t be available by the time the team picks in the first round.
  • O’Brien believes Arian Foster has plenty of football left in him, but wants to try to manage his workload going forward, and identified running back as a position where the team could look to add someone.
  • O’Brien called Case Keenum a “very viable” quarterback option for the Texans, though it’s not clear if the head coach meant as a starter, or simply as a piece on the 53-man roster.

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin:

  • The Giants’ goal is to keep Jason Pierre-Paul on their roster not just for 2015, but for many years beyond that, according to Coughlin, who wants to see JPP retire as a Giant. “How that works out remains to be seen,” he added.
  • Asked about his own contract situation, Coughlin said that it’s been set in motion and he hopes to be able to provide an update soon on that front. It sounds as if he may be in line for another one-year contract extension.
  • Coughlin had nothing but praise for safety Antrel Rolle, whom he wants to re-sign, but added that the team “obviously” has some financial limitations. The head coach wasn’t quite as enthusiastic when asked about bringing back defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka, declining to comment on whether there’s still a place for Kiwanuka on the roster.

Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman:

  • While he thinks the Panthers’ salary cap situation is in a better place than it used to be, Gettleman cautioned that Carolina is “still not out of the hole,” adding that the team wants to make sure to do things right.
  • According to Gettleman, he walked into a situation in which the Panthers had a ton of money tied up in running backs, and is still working his way through it. The GM acknowledged that he has spoken to DeAngelo Williams since the season ended, but declined to say whether the veteran back will remain on the team’s roster for 2015.
  • Although he wasn’t talking specifically about Greg Hardy, Gettleman rhetorically asked, “Who wants a ticking time bomb?” when discussing the possibility of drafting or signing players with a history of domestic violence.
  • As for Hardy, Gettleman told reporters he has nothing to say about the free agent pass rusher as long as he’s still on Carolina’s exempt list.

AFC South Notes: Titans, Jackson, Hilton

Three years ago, the Rams struck gold in the draft when they took advantage of Washington’s desire to land Robert Griffin III by turning the second overall pick into a huge haul of future picks. The Titans hold the No. 2 overall pick in 2015, in a class with two consensus top signal-callers well above the rest of the players at the position. However, even with teams like the Browns and Eagles reportedly interested in moving up to select Marcus Mariota, NFL Network draft guru Mike Mayock doesn’t foresee any team mortgaging the franchise for either of this year’s top quarterbacks (Mariota and Jameis Winston).

“Washington went and got the guy they thought could help them win a Super Bowl,” Mayock said on Monday’s conference call, per Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean. “Because of what’s happened with that kid, both with injuries and the way he’s played, I think a lot of teams are very nervous about the perception of mortgaging your future.”

As the Titans consider their options for what to do with that second overall pick, let’s check in on a few more notes from out of the AFC South….

  • Earlier this week, Texans cornerback Kareem Jackson said he doesn’t love the idea of receiving the franchise tag, and I pointed out that the team isn’t likely to use it on him anyway. John McClain of the Houston Chronicle agrees with that assessment, suggesting that while the Texans will do their best to keep Jackson, the franchise and transition tags won’t be in play.
  • T.Y. Hilton, who is heading into the final year of his rookie contract, is eligible for a contract extension this offseason, and it appears a new agent will be handling those negotiations. That new agent? Hilton’s old agent. Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (via Twitter) that the Colts wideout has re-hired Drew Rosenhaus, whom he fired back in June. Maverick Carter and Erik Burkhardt represented Hilton in between his stints with Rosenhaus.
  • With the scouting combine taking place in Indianapolis this week, Stephen Holder of the Indy Star evaluated the drafts of Colts GM Ryan Grigson. The stellar 2012 draft featuring Andrew Luck, Coby Fleener, Dwayne Allen, and Hilton predictably got an A grade. The 2013 draft didn’t pan out the same way, but the 2014 draft featuring three starters – Jack Mewhort, Donte Moncrief, and Jonathan Newsome – got a B grade.

South Notes: Titans, Roos, Panthers, Texans

Late last month, when I considered the idea of the Titans making use of their franchise tag this year, I singled out edge defender Derrick Morgan and punter Brett Kern as the likeliest candidates, but suggested that the club was unlikely to tag anyone. General manager Ruston Webster confirmed as much today, as Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com writes. “I don’t see it as in play,” Webster said of the franchise and transition tags, suggesting that if the Titans decide to bring back players like Morgan, Kern, and kicker Ryan Succop, they’ll simply negotiate new deals rather than locking them up with a tag.

Here’s more from out of the NFL’s two South divisions:

  • Longtime Titans tackle Michael Roos still hasn’t decided whether or not he’ll play in 2015, a source tells Terry McCormick of TitanInsider.com (Twitter link). Presumably, Tennessee is planning to move on without Roos, since there’s a good chance he retires, and he’s eligible for free agency anyway.
  • The Panthers have promoted secondary coach Steve Wilks, who also leads the team’s pass defense, to the position of assistant head coach, the club announced today (via Twitter). Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that colleagues believe Wilks has a future as a head coach.
  • John McClain of the Houston Chronicle takes a look at a few items on the Texans‘ offseason checklist, suggesting that the team has four potential free agents it should “make every effort” to re-sign: cornerback Kareem Jackson, offensive tackle Derek Newton, outside linebacker Brooks Reed, and quarterback Ryan Mallett.
  • Speaking of Jackson, the Texans corner appeared on SiriusXM NFL Radio (SoundCloud link) today and indicated that he and the team hope to work out a new agreement prior to the start of next month’s free agent period. Jackson added that he wouldn’t be thrilled with the idea of being franchised, since he’d prefer more long-term security, though I’d be surprised if Houston used its tag on him anyway, given the cost.