Broncos free agency: 5 safeties to target if Kareem Jackson is not back

Denver Broncos 2021 free agency: John Johnson. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos 2021 free agency: John Johnson. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /
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Kareem Jackson, Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos safety #22 Kareem Jackson. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Final thoughts and a bonus player

The Broncos would probably love to keep continuity with Kareem Jackson and Justin Simmons at the safety spots, and rightfully so. Perhaps Jackson could be persuaded to sign a new deal to stay in Denver but bring his pay down, at least for the 2021 season. When he signed, he signed as an $11M AAV (average annual value) player, and at his age, he’s probably closer now to the $7-8M AAV range.

The Broncos don’t necessarily need the cap space from Jackson at this point, so why would we be talking about or entertaining the idea of moving on from him?

The reasoning is fairly simple. Between the 2021 free agency class and 2021 NFL Draft crop, the safety position this year is pretty loaded.

The Broncos would be making a long-term move either way, and they don’t necessarily need to move off of Jackson if they look to someone like Trevon Mohrig of TCU or Richie Grant of UCF in the 2021 NFL Draft.

As we can see here, however, there are at least a handful of options in free agency that might be worthy of the discussion of replacing Jackson since they would almost all be multi-year options where Jackson is 33, on the final year of his deal, and frankly may be unlikely to be back in 2022 anyway.

How about a bonus player in Will Parks?

The former sixth-round pick of the Broncos has proven his worth on special teams, at safety, as a nickel corner, as a dime linebacker, and in the locker room.

Parks’ value to the Broncos is obvious at this point. The team let him walk in free agency in 2020 and the team ended up bringing him back on waivers when the Eagles let him go in the middle of the season.

George Paton’s Vikings were one of the team’s to also put a waiver claim in on Parks at the time.

At any rate, the Broncos have a chance to get younger and possibly even better at the safety position in the 2021 offseason, which is no slight to Jackson who has played very well in Denver.

Although certainly there may not be any major change at safety other than additions through the 2021 NFL Draft, the idea of looking to free agency is not without merit.