Kareem Jackson

Broncos Re-Sign S Kareem Jackson

Kareem Jackson will be back in Denver next season. Ryan O’Halloran of The Denver Post reports (via Twitter) that the veteran safety is re-signing with the Broncos. The 33-year-old is inking a one-year deal worth up to $5MM, per Mike Klis of 9News in Denver (on Twitter).

[RELATED: Mutual Interest Between Broncos, Kareem Jackson]

The 2010 first-round pick spent the first nine seasons of his career with the Texans before inking a three-year, $33MM deal with the Broncos in 2019. The Broncos declined his option last offseason, making him an unrestricted free agent, but he ended up reupping with the organization on a one-year, $5MM deal.

In three seasons in Denver, Jackson has started all 44 of his appearances, collecting 248 tackles, four interceptions, and 16 passes defended. He had another 16 interceptions in 132 games with the Texans.

While Broncos GM George Paton believes in 2021 fifth-round pick Caden Sterns, the organization understands that they couldn’t rely on the sophomore as they look to make a playoff run. As Troy Renck of Denver7 tweets, the Broncos believe Jackson has set a high bar on defense, and his leadership and physicality will continue to be relied on throughout the 2022 season.

Latest On Melvin Gordon, Kareem Jackson

Running back Melvin Gordon and safety Kareem Jackson remain two of the top remaining free agents from the 2021 Broncos. Not surprisingly, general manager George Paton recently reiterated his desire to keep both veterans, as noted by Pro Football Talk’s Josh Alper

Earlier this month it became known that there was mutual interest between Gordon and the team for a new deal to reached. The 28-year-old has spent the past two seasons in Denver, after five with the Chargers. The one-time Pro Bowler seemed to be on the way out given the emergence of 2021 second rounder Javonte Williams, but Gordon remained productive working in a time-share last season. He recorded 1,131 scrimmage yards and 10 total touchdowns, which is almost identical to his numbers from 2020.

Gordon’s dialogue with the Broncos has made it clear that he understands re-signing with Denver would not involve an every-down role as the undisputed starter. As Denver7’s Troy Renck reports (on Twitter), he is “open to returning and sharing” the workload with Williams, who had a highly efficient rookie campaign. With that said, Renck adds that the Broncos are one of “multiple teams interested” in adding Gordon.

As for Jackson, there has been a similar desire shared between player and club to strike a new deal. The corner-turned-safety will be 34 by the start of the season. The former Texan has already shown a willingness to accommodate a re-worked deal with Denver, as he signed a one-year contract last offseason following his release from a more lucrative pact. The former first rounder has started all 44 of his games as a Bronco, recording 177 tackles and four interceptions.

When asked about negotiations with both players, Paton said, “we’ve spoken to both their agents. It’s ongoing. We’d love to bring everyone back, but we just can’t do it. We’re still talking with those two — really good players”. The Broncos currently have just over $16MM in cap space remaining, so finding the room for at least one should be relatively straightforward. Both of them suiting up for Denver again in 2022 is still a distinct possibility, though.

Mutual Interest Between Broncos, Kareem Jackson

Kareem Jackson started for each of Vic Fangio‘s three Broncos defenses, but the veteran defender is back in free agency. Despite the Broncos changing coaching staffs, Jackson is still on the team’s radar.

GM George Paton said the Broncos are exploring another deal with Jackson, per Denver7’s Troy Renck (on Twitter). The team has spoken with the veteran safety about coming back. Jackson is interested in staying as well (Twitter link). Finances will need to line up, but the parties huddled up last year to reach a revised agreement.

[RELATED: Broncos To Sign CB K’Waun Williams]

The Broncos cut Jackson in 2021 but re-signed him to a reduced rate, shedding the converted cornerback’s three-year, $33MM deal and bringing him back for one year and $5MM. Jackson made 15 starts and tallied 88 tackles in his third Broncos season and third year as a full-time safety.

Jackson’s age may be an issue; he will turn 34 next month. The 2022 season would be the former first-rounder’s 13th in the NFL. But the longtime Texans cornerback has been a key player for the Broncos since relocating in 2019. The Broncos held onto Jackson at the trade deadline despite the veteran having drawn outside interest.

Denver drafted Caden Sterns in the 2021 fifth round and used him frequently as a backup; the Texas product intercepted two passes and added two sacks. Sterns would be an obvious candidate to succeed Jackson alongside Justin Simmons, but the Broncos — having just traded for Russell Wilson — may opt for more certainty with Jackson as they prepare to compete in a loaded AFC West.

Denver Emerging As Premier QB Destination

We wrote a bit earlier today on the Broncos being among multiple AFC teams who “have trade compensation lined up with the Packers,” in relation to quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Well, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Denver has emerged as a prime location for many of the league’s veteran quarterbacks looking for a potential change of scenery.

The Broncos recently hired former Packers’ offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett to replace Vic Fangio, who failed to accomplish a winning season in three years with the Broncos. The former Green Bay staffer represents an obvious and strong connection for Rodgers. Should Rodgers decide to move on from the Packers, having a play-caller that he’s familiar with could add some allure to the Mile High City. Another intriguing aspect that could bring a star quarterback to Denver is the addition of former Vikings’ offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak as passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach. Kubiak just helped Kirk Cousins turn in one of his best seasons in Minnesota.

Hackett and company inherit an impressive roster posed to perform. The defense is comprised of veterans like outside linebacker Bradley Chubb, safety Justin Simmons, defensive end Shelby Harris, and cornerback Ronald Darby. There are a number of free agents that Denver would like to bring back like cornerbacks Bryce Callahan & Kyle Fuller, defensive back Kareem Jackson, inside linebacker Josey Jewell, and outside linebacker Malik Reed. Even if they fail to bring some of those names back, the Broncos saw impressive seasons last year for youngsters like cornerback Patrick Surtain II, linebacker Baron Browning, defensive end Dre’Mont Jones, and safety Caden Sterns. The list of defensive players above may not overwhelm you with stardom, but, together, the Broncos defense ranked third in the league in points allowed and eighth in the league in yards allowed.

In addition to a brand new offense and stacked defense, Denver boasts a nice array of young offensive weapons. An impressive receiving corps is led by veteran 26-year-old Courtland Sutton, young star Jerry Jeudy, and Tim Patrick, who has broken out a bit over the past two seasons. The Broncos also have two talented, young receiving tight ends in Noah Fant and Albert Okwuegbunam. Any quarterback looking to join in on the fun would potentially have the benefit of a two-headed rushing attack that was 79 yards short of a combined 2,000-yard rushing season. Running back Javonte Williams enjoyed a healthy dose of carries in his rookie season, and there is mutual interest in bringing back Melvin Gordon.

Rodgers is obviously a name to keep an eye on as the decision on his future in Green Bay looms on the horizon. He has said that he will let the Packers know of his intentions before the franchise tag deadline so they can figure out how to deal with free agent wide receiver Davante Adams. In addition to Rodgers, though, keep an eye out for Denver to make moves on other quarterbacks searching for greener pastures. Russell Wilson has long been rumored to be interested in moving on from Seattle, and Deshaun Watson is still searching for a new home.

Whether Rodgers, Wilson, Watson, or some other under-the-radar name, look for the Broncos to make a move for a star quarterback. If they are able to find the right fit, the move could bring them into contention for what could easily turn into the toughest division in football.

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/5/22

Here are Wednesday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears 

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Broncos’ Kareem Jackson Drawing Trade Interest

Sounds like we should keep an eye on Kareem Jackson this week. Teams have been calling on the Broncos defensive back in recent days, according to sources who spoke with NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport.

[RELATED: Broncos Activate Jeudy From IR]

Broncos GM George Paton fielded calls on fellow defensive back Kyle Fuller last week and it sounds like Jackson is drawing more interest as the deadline draws near. Paton isn’t necessarily inclined to deal Jackson, according to RapSheet, but the right offer could pry him loose.

Paton declined Jackson’s option on March 15, making him a free agent. Then, they brought him back roughly one week later. Originally, he was set to play out the final season of his three-year, $33MM pact. Instead, they negotiated him down to a modest one-year, $5MM contract to save about $7.1MM in cap space. That means any team acquiring Jackson would only have to budget for a couple million dollars — not bad for a lifelong starter with 12 years of pro experience.

Entering today, Jackson has 43 tackles, one interception, and one sack through seven games. Meanwhile, Pro Football Focus has assigned him an overall score of 61.5, good for 49th out of 80+ qualified safeties.

The Broncos are 3-4 heading into this afternoon’s game against the Washington Football Team. A loss would put them even deeper in the AFC West cellar and likely give them even more motivation to deal veterans like Jackson.

Broncos To Bring Back Kareem Jackson

Kareem Jackson isn’t going anywhere. A deal has been reached for the veteran safety to return to the Broncos, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). It’s a one-year, $5MM contract, a source told Mike Klis of Denver 9 News (Twitter link).

This isn’t unexpected, as we heard that the door was open for a return not long after the team declined his option and made him a free agent. Jackson signed a three-year, $33MM deal in 2019, and the team saved about $7.1MM in cap space by declining the option on the final year. Now they’ve got their other starting safety spot figured out opposite Justin Simmons, who they just gave a huge extension to.

Jackson started all 16 games for Denver last year, and the long-time vet has now started 153 for his career. The Alabama product was a first-round pick of the Texans all the way back in 2010, and has never played in less than 12 games through 11 pro seasons. He’ll turn 33 in April, but was graded very solidly by Pro Football Focus last year and should still have something left in the tank.

New GM George Paton was aggressive in signing Kyle Fuller and Ronald Darby to play corner, so the secondary is pretty well taken care of with fellow corner Bryce Callahan also returning. With Bradley Chubb and Von Miller returning at edge rusher and Vic Fangio coaching, this Denver defense has the chance to be one of the league’s best units.

Paton said just a few days ago about the safety spot “there’s free agency, there’s a lot of safeties on the market, including Kareem, and then we have the draft. There’s also the trade market. The good thing is we don’t play a game for a while. We have a lot of time.

Apparently he didn’t need too much time.

Broncos Open To Kareem Jackson Return

Kareem Jackson says the door to a Broncos return is “not entirely closed.” And, over the weekend, Broncos GM George Paton echoed those sentiments, as Troy Renck of Denver7 tweets.

With Kareem, we had great conversations with his agent,” Paton said. “We tried to get something done but we couldn’t. We left the door open for Kareem to come back.”

When the two sides couldn’t agree on a restructured deal, the Broncos declined the veteran safety’s option to save $7.1MM in cap space. Jackson, 32, joined the Broncos on a three-year, $33MM deal back in 2019. He quickly became a favorite among teammates and the coaching staff for hard-hitting style. Over the last two years, he started in all 29 of his games for Denver, tallying 160 tackles, 14 passes defended, and three interceptions.

One way or another, the Broncos need to fill the safety spot alongside Justin Simmons. However, it’s likely that Jackson will explore his options before considering a lesser offer from the Broncos. Meanwhile, Paton says he won’t rush the process.

It’s a priority,” Paton said of the position. “It definitely is but we have a long time. There’s free agency, there’s a lot of safeties on the market, including Kareem, and then we have the draft. There’s also the trade market. The good thing is we don’t play a game for a while. We have a lot of time.”

Broncos Don’t Exercise S Kareem Jackson’s Option

Kareem Jackson is hitting free agency. Mike Klis of 9News in Denver reports (via Twitter) that the Broncos will not exercise the option on the veteran safety.

Klis notes that the front office tried to restructure Jackson’s contract before declining the option. Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post tweets that the move will free up $7.1MM in cap space for the Broncos.

Jackson, 32, joined the Broncos on a three-year, $33MM deal back in 2019. The veteran quickly became a favorite among teammates and the coaching staff for his veteran savvy and hard hits. Jackson ultimately started each of his 29 games for the Broncos, compiling 160 tackles, 14 passes defended, and three interceptions.

While the Broncos will surely be seeking a replacement for Jackson, the team has already added to their secondary. The team agreed to terms with cornerback Ronald Darby earlier today.

Jackson: Watson Interested In Broncos

Kareem Jackson‘s final two Texans seasons overlapped with the start of Deshaun Watson‘s Houston stay. Jackson left for Denver in 2019 and has one season remaining on his contract. He has spoken with his former teammate about his interest in the Broncos as a trade destination.

Watson is interested in Denver as a destination, per Jackson, who told TMZ Sports he has discussed this topic on multiple occasions with the disgruntled quarterback. The Broncos figure to be among the many teams interested in Watson, should the Texans make him available. Watson requested a trade last week, shortly after the Texans hired David Culley as head coach.

Like the Panthers, who are planning to make a push for Watson after being in the mix for Matthew Stafford, the Broncos present an intriguing wide receiver group. But Denver would not be able to put together the kind of draft pick package the Dolphins and Jets could. The Broncos hold the No. 9 overall pick, but the Jets and Dolphins have top-three selections and additional first-rounders this year. The Jets have two first-rounders this year and next. Watson, who has a no-trade clause that will allow him to approve his destination, is also believed to be open to most deals.

New Broncos GM George Paton exchanged offers with the Lions for Stafford, though the longtime Vikings exec balked at including promising young players on his new team in the deal. Those talks did include Drew Lock, however. Watson is certainly a more valuable asset than Stafford, going into his age-26 season on the heels of three Pro Bowls (to Stafford’s one in 12 seasons), so it will be interesting to see how serious the Broncos would be if Watson is made available. Acquiring Watson will require one of the best trade packages in NFL history.

The Broncos have used nine starting quarterbacks in the five seasons since Peyton Manning retired. They used a first-round pick on a passer in 2016 (Paxton Lynch), a second-rounder on Lock in 2019 and have acquired starters via the trade route (Joe Flacco) and free agency (Case Keenum). Before the Broncos signed Keenum in 2018, a few of their Super Bowl holdovers made pitches to Kirk Cousins. The team, which has seen almost all of its Super Bowl 50 cogs depart, remains in search of quarterback stability. Limited by this position, the Broncos ranked 30th in offensive DVOA in 2020.