The Denver Broncos inaction through the afternoon and early evening of the first day of the NFL’s legal tampering period seemed to cause some apprehension among fans and analysts alike about the club’s plans for free agency this offseason.
But, as evening turned into night Monday, the Broncos kicked its offseason plans into gear, first coming to an agreement with former Houston Texans defensive back Kareem Jackson and then, shortly after, former Miami Dolphins right tackle Ja’Wuan James.
Jackson and the Broncos reportedly agreed on a three-year, $33 million deal — with $23 million guaranteed — per ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
Denver then made James the highest-paid right tackle in the NFL, also according to Schefter, with a four-year, $52 million deal with $32 million guaranteed.
“The Drive” co-host DMac called Jackson a “solid addition” to a Broncos secondary that will likely see Bradley Roby move on in free agency and already has seen the departure of veteran safety Darian Stewart.
“He’s a physical guy playing both corner and safety,” DMac said.
“Pritchard and Cecil” co-host Cecil Lammey lauded Denver for “finally” make its first free agency move, also touting Jackson’s ability to play both safety and cornerback.
“(Jackson) should work well in a Fangio defense,” Lammey said.
And upon hearing the news of Denver inking James, 104.3 The Fan host Orlando Franklin said he “loved” the move.
“(James) was the second-best tackle on the market and was drafted by the Dolphins, where (Broncos) assistant coach Chris Kuper has been the past few years,” Franklin said, adding Denver likely would not have targeted the right tackle had Kuper not “put the stamp of approval on it.”
Jackson, who’ll turn 31 next month, had spent his entire nine-year NFL career with the Houston Texans after being drafted in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft.
Having played both the left and right cornerback positions as well as safety, Jackson has started (124) nearly every game (132) from Day 1 with Houston.
In that time, Jackson’s racked up 16 interceptions (three for touchdowns), 88 passes defensed, six forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, two sacks, and 559 tackles (468 solo).
According to Pro Football Focus, Jackson ranked as the 14th-best cornerback in the NFL.
James, who turns 27 in June, has spent his entire five-year NFL career with Miami after the Dolphins selected him in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
A starter since his rookie season, James did miss nine games in 2015 and eight games in 2017 due to injury. He missed one game this past season with a knee injury.
According to Pro Football Focus, James ranked as the 34th-best tackle in the NFL (both left and right), grading out just behind New England Patriots left tackle Trent Brown — who signed a record contract for left tackles with the Oakland Raiders on Monday — and just ahead of Broncos left tackle Garett Bolles.
Follow digital content producer Johnny Hart on Twitter: @JohnnyHart7.
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