With the season seemingly going in the proverbial toilet, it's time for the Denver Broncos to take a glimpse toward the off-season. In what's becoming an annual tradition, many in Broncos Country are pivoting their attention to college prospects, finding "their guy" for the Broncos to draft in next April's Draft.
With a 1-4 record and the remaining schedule looking to become tougher, the prospects of a turnaround look bleak. So, where do we go from here? Well, if you ask James Palmer, a "tear down" looks to be the likely next step.
Of course, some of the biggest names on the team have been bandied about—Sutton, Jeudy, Simmons, etc. Plenty of starters will have their name thrown into the hot seat for these trade discussions and in all likelihood, a few of them will probably be gone by the trade deadline. However, what if I told you there may be other guys on the team worth looking into for a trade? Here are three players that I think the Broncos could move by the deadline.
3 under-the-radar Denver Broncos who should be on the trade block
1. Kareem Jackson
Yeah, this one shouldn't be much of a surprise. The 15-year veteran has been a Bronco in 2019 and is highly regarded as one of the team's strongest leaders. Perhaps that's part of the problem. With all due respect to Jackson, his playing style is reminiscent of someone coming into the league of a UDFA, looking to make a team by overcompensating.
For a guy that's played as long as he has, you'd think he'd have a savvy to his game and not be as reckless. Jackson has a well-known reputation for coming out of the secondary like a missile. The hard-charging safety intends to hit defenders, but not wrap his arms around to finish the tackle, leading to bouncing off of the player. How often have we seen him charge at a player to "blow up the play", only to bounce off and have said receiver gain several positive yards? For many years, Jackson's game has been defined as such, yet he still holds a leadership role with the team. Is it a surprise that a team with many missed tackles, assignments, and blown plays follows a leader who consistently plays without core fundamentals?
Of course, that also includes getting ejected from a game because of a questionable hit he put on a player in the end zone. In Jackson's defense, you can see that he initially tried to lead with his right shoulder into the hit, but the impact also included his helmet. When you're a team looking to ascend, you can't afford to have your leaders taking unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, getting ejected from games, and consistently missing routine tackles. It's a domino effect on your team, and if Sean Payton wanted to continue sending a message, then Jackson's seat should be Flaming Cheeto hot.
With all that said, you might wonder how Jackson has a trade market with his erratic play. Had it not been for Randy Gregory getting traded, I would have said he didn't have one. However, since the team was able to move Gregory to San Francisco, perhaps they could do the same for Jackson. Whether it's for a conditional late-round pick or a down-roster player, I think it would be wise of the Broncos to move Jackson and get more snaps for the young safeties. Delarrin Turner-Yell filled in admirably during Simmons' absence, and with P.J. Locke returning from IR, it might be time to get those two (along with JL Skinner) more reps in the secondary.
For whatever reason, Jackson's leadership with the team hasn't consistently translated to quality play and wins this year. It may be time to turn the page and look for more leaders in the youth of this team.