In Denver's 19-17 win over the Packers, safety Kareem Jackson was penalized for a helmet-to-helmet hit... again. He was ejected... again. He will likely have to pay a hefty fine... again. Jackson, now 35, is in the final years of his career and has now become the poster boy for helmet-to-helmet flags in the NFL. Jackson has been fined four times and should be expecting a fifth in the coming days. As a matter of fact, the NFL has apparently suspended him without pay for the next four games.
The safety does not figure into the Broncos' future plans, is blocking younger players who deserve a chance to prove themselves to the new regime, and is now a walking liability, as he has now caused the team the finish a game short a safety twice. The time has come for the Broncos to move on from Kareem Jackson, and here are three reasons why.
1) The Denver Broncos are Rebuilding
Arguably the main reason that the Broncos should move on from Jackson is that the veteran is now 35, is again in the final year of his contract, and is very likely not in any future plans for Denver. Behind Jackson sit three young safeties who could factor into Denver's plans for 2024 and beyond. Most notable is PJ Locke, 26, who had a game-sealing interception in week seven to give the Broncos their second win of the year. Locke has been a Bronco since 2020 and has been their third safety behind Jackson and Justin Simmons.
After Locke, the Broncos have two recent draft picks, 2022 selection Delarrin Turner-Yell and 2023 selection JL Skinner. Both safeties have had minimal playing time, if any, as they both started pretty low on the depth chart behind Simmons, Jackson, Locke, and now-injured starter Caden Stearns. Both safeties were selected later in their respective drafts, and Skinner has been inactive for the majority of the Broncos' games this year. Moving on from Jackson would allow the Broncos to give these two larger roles, and truly see what they have in store going forward at the safety position, especially as Justin Simmons firmly sits in trade rumors.