Denver Broncos: Five most underrated offseason moves
2. Declining Kareem Jackson’s option, then re-signing him
Going into the offseason, one of the players who had a team option was safety Kareem Jackson. In Jackson’s two seasons in Denver, he has made quite the impact, helping create one of the league’s most dangerous safety duos alongside the young Justin Simmons.
In his two seasons with the Broncos, Jackson has been named a Pro Bowl alternate and played almost every defensive snap in 2020. When it came time to exercise his club option for the 2021 season, which included $1.5 million in guarantees and a $10 million salary, Paton made the tough decision to decline the now-33-year-old’s option, making him a free agent.
Just when it looked like Jackson’s time in Denver had come to an end, Paton pulled one of the best-underrated moves of the offseason. He was able to re-sign Jackson to a one-year, $5 million deal, saving $5 million on his original option and keeping their elite safety tandem intact. Making sure that he kept his secondary duo for at least 2021 and saving money on the salary cap makes this one of the most underrated moves of the offseason for the Broncos.
Jackson is an impact player for the Broncos on defense and is arguably one of the best pound-for-pound hitters in the league, along with being a strong veteran presence in the locker room. Allowing him to mentor their young secondary is also a big benefit for the future. With young safeties, Jermar Johnson and Caden Sterns, along with second-year cornerback Michael Ojemudia needing Jackson’s guidance and veteran experience, keeping him around was not a need, but a must.