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Report: Broncos will not exercise team option for Kareem Jackson

Safety is now a critical need for the Broncos.

Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders
The Broncos cut loose a key vet.
Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

According to 9News’ Mike Klis the Broncos will not pick up the team option for safety Kareem Jackson. He will become a free agent.

The move creates $10 million in cap space while the Broncos will incur a $2,882,353 dead cap hit. George Paton elected to cut the 32-year old after the first dominoes of free agency began to fall, which suggests the safety market may have influenced this decision.

Cutting Jackson means it will fall upon Justin Simmons to serve to hold down the fort on the backend. The only other safety on the current roster with significant playing time is Trey Marshall, who played the last two games of 2019 after Jackson was suspended for a DUI.

It remains to be seen if the Broncos new general manager will pursue a veteran replacement for Jackson. The best players like John Johnson, Marcus Williams, and Marcus Maye are all locked up. Because they signed for less than expected there’s reason to believe the Broncos could find a value deal once the market starts to cool.

Personally I do not expect the Broncos to go out and sign another top tier veteran safety. Cutting Jackson carried with it a significant dead cap hit Paton’s pinching pennies over guys like Phillip Lindsay. Guys that could make sense look more like Tre Boston or Duron Harmon than former Viking Anthony Harris.

It is also considered a strong NFL draft for safety prospects. Two of the top prospects play in a defensive system that carries with it some overlap to the Fangio scheme. TCU’s Trevon Moehrig is considered the top safety in the class while the diminutive Ar’Darius Washington pops off the tape. If George Paton decides to chase a rookie later down the board guys like Paris Ford or Richard LeCounte could make a ton of sense.

We’ll have more on this story as we learn it.