Broncos’ 13-Year Veteran Hints at Decision to Move on in Free Agency

Getty 13-year NFL veteran Kareem Jackson indicated that he's likely to move on from the Broncos in 2023 free agency

Thirteen-year NFL veteran Kareem Jackson doesn’t sound like someone who’s intending to stay with the Denver Broncos — a franchise fresh off a 5-12 season and without any first or second-round picks during the 2023 NFL draft. The 34-year-old Alabama product said he’d like to play on a contender due to his career likely ending after his 15th season, and Denver doesn’t fit that description at the moment.

“The window of opportunity as far as playing this game is not big,” Jackson said on the March 10 edition of the “Good Morning Football” show on NFL Network. “I’ve always said as long as I can go run around and play at a high level, I’ll play. Going into Year 14, I set a goal for myself to play 15, and I’ve been sticking to that.”

Jackson has been on the Broncos since 2019 after spending his first eight years with the Texans coming out of Alabama.

The former Crimson Tide safety was selected with the 20th pick of the 2010 draft after helping Alabama win the 2009 BCS Championship.

Kareem Jackson Wants Good Pay Day After Discount With Broncos

Jackson took a pay cut in 2022 to remain with the Broncos, going from an average salary of $11 million per season in his first three-year deal with the team to under $5 million in 2023. While it’s unclear if he’ll ever reach eight figures again, Jackson does want to be well compensated at his next NFL home.

“Year 14, obviously would love for the payday to be right,” Jackson told the Good Morning Football panel. “I mean, I understand age and all that stuff, which is to me crazy when it comes to all that. If you’re playing at a high level, you’re playing at a high level, regardless of your age.”

Winning is on Jackson’s radar, he admits. “I mean, definitely, I’d definitely love a chance to win a ring.”

Jackson wants to reach the postseason once again, something he never achieved while in Denver. “14 years, played in the playoffs a couple times, but to not have been in the playoffs the last four years, I would definitely love to be in a team that’s a contender.”

Another Broncos Coaching Change Seals Deal for Kareem Jackson

A third coach in five years would’ve been too much for Jackson, according to Mile High Huddle’s Keith Cummings. Cummings believes the firing of Nathaniel Hackett and the hiring of Sean Payton sealed the deal for the 34-year-old’s fate in Denver.

“Another change of regime in Denver likely ends any realistic ambitions Jackson had the return to the Broncos,” he wrote.

In fact, convenience was a major reason why Jackson didn’t depart the franchise in 2022, Cummings writes. “Prior to last season, he made a point of sticking close to the team from an emotional and geographical perspective, which facilitated his return to the Broncos on a one-year, $5 million deal,” he prefaced before saying, “The added bonus was that Jackson didn’t have to pack his bags and move on.”

The Broncos won’t be getting another hometown discount according to Cummings. “As much Jackson was determined to not uproot his family from Denver last year, that boat has likely sailed this time,” he wrote. “So in a classic savvy veteran move, Jackson is signaling to genuine NFL contenders that he’s more than willing to lace them up again elsewhere.”

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