Getting ready for his 14th season in the NFL, safety Kareem Jackson is an unfamiliar spot - fighting for his starting position.
The 35-year-old veteran is coming off a great 2022, but the league favors the young, so he’s battling with third-year safety Caden Sterns who has been having a good camp and tagged as a possible breakout player this season.
Jackson started all 17 games last season, finishing with a career-high 94 tackles. He also added two tackles for a loss, three passes defended and two fumble recoveries.
Pat Surtain, Caden Sterns AND Kareem Jackson with interceptions.— Zac Stevens (@ZacStevensDNVR) August 16, 2023
Height: 5-foot-10| Weight: 183 pounds
Experience: 14th season | Age: 35 years old
Jackson was a free agent this offseason before re-signing a one-year, $2.7 million contract and just $152,500 guaranteed.
“I believe in myself and my ability and if I couldn’t play at a high level, I wouldn’t be out here,” Jackson said. “It’s my 14th training camp. I’m not out here because of the payday. I’m out here because I love the game.”
While Sterns may be tapped as the next starter, Jackson is not relinquishing his role just yet.
“Unfortunately in this league, you get put in situations that you can’t control or you can’t handle, regardless of your play,” Jackson said about Sterns taking starer reps. “For some reason, it seems when you get a certain age, they always think the cliff is coming that you can’t play. It’s my job to come out and prove them wrong.”
2023 outlook for Broncos safety Kareem Jackson
Jackson has had a huge impact on the Broncos' secondary during his last four years in Denver, logging 342 total tackles in 61 games, culminating with last season’s best of 94.
And while the 23-year-old Sterns has taken most of the first-team reps during training camp alongside Justin Simmons, Jackson will no doubt push the competition. And even if he is not the starter, his football IQ and defensive instincts will still make him a prime contributor as defensive coordinator Vance Joseph anticipates packages for both Jackson and Sterns.
“I’m always one of those guys that lets my play do the talking for me,” he said after training camp practice three weeks ago. “For me, it’s all about coming out and putting my best foot forward each and every day and still proving I can play this game to each and every person that’s doubting it.”
What do you think Kareem Jackson’s contribution will be this season?
This poll is closed
Probably backup to Caden Sterns
As long as keeps doing KJack TV, I don’t care what position he is on the depth chart.