Kareem Jackson‘s final two Texans seasons overlapped with the start of Deshaun Watson‘s Houston stay. Jackson left for Denver in 2019 and has one season remaining on his contract. He has spoken with his former teammate about his interest in the Broncos as a trade destination.
Watson is interested in Denver as a destination, per Jackson, who told TMZ Sports he has discussed this topic on multiple occasions with the disgruntled quarterback. The Broncos figure to be among the many teams interested in Watson, should the Texans make him available. Reports that Watson requested a trade surfaced last week, shortly after the Texans hired David Culley as head coach.
Like the Panthers, who are planning to make a push for Watson after being in the mix for Matthew Stafford, the Broncos present an intriguing wide receiver group. Denver would not be able to put together the kind of draft pick package the Dolphins and Jets could, however. The Broncos hold the No. 9 overall pick, but the Jets and Dolphins have top-three selections and additional first-rounders this year. The Jets have two first-rounders this year and next. Watson, who has a no-trade clause that will allow him to approve his destination, is also believed to be open to most deals.
New Broncos GM George Paton exchanged offers with the Lions for Stafford, though the longtime Vikings exec balked at including promising young players on his new team in the deal. Those talks did include Drew Lock, however. Watson is certainly a more valuable asset than Stafford going into his age-26 season on the heels of three Pro Bowls (to Stafford’s one in 12 seasons), so it will be interesting to see how serious the Broncos would be if Watson is made available. Acquiring Watson will require one of the best trade packages in NFL history.
The Broncos have used nine starting quarterbacks in the five seasons since Peyton Manning retired. They used a first-round pick on a passer in 2016 (Paxton Lynch), a second-rounder on Lock in 2019 and have acquired starters via the trade route (Joe Flacco) and free agency (Case Keenum). Before the Broncos signed Keenum in 2018, a few of their Super Bowl holdovers made pitches to Kirk Cousins. The team, which has seen almost all of its Super Bowl 50 cogs depart, remains in search of quarterback stability. Limited by this position, the Broncos ranked 30th in offensive DVOA in 2020.