At age 35, Broncos safety Kareem Jackson is slated to be the oldest defensive back in the NFL this season. Only two defensive backs older than Jackson played last year. One of them, Devin McCourty, has announced his retirement. The other, Josh Norman, played in only two games last year and is not under contract to a team now.
Despite his age, Jackson is a big part of what Broncos head coach Sean Payton wants to do on defense, and Payton said he’s pleased that Jackson remains in good shape at an age when few defensive backs are still playing.
“He’s experienced and he’s got really good instincts,” Payton said, via Chris Tomasson of the Denver Gazette. “At his age, it’s impressive he’s been healthy. Then you look at pitch count, what’s the vision and all of those things. That was exciting for us and for him.”
Jackson entered the NFL as a first-round draft pick of the Texans out of Alabama in 2010. He played nine seasons in Houston and is now heading into his fifth season in Denver. Last year he started all 17 games and didn’t show many signs of slowing down. Payton thinks Jackson has at least one more good year left in him.