Kareem Jackson was Clued in on A.J. Bouye Trade Well Before Broncos Pulled the Trigger

KeithCummings

One of the key offseason decisions made by Denver Broncos' GM John Elway was to finally cut the cord with longtime standout CB Chris Harris, Jr. In the wake of Monday’s announcement that Harris had made the NFL's All-Decade team for the 2010s alongside Von Miller, it placed an onus on the man tasked replaced with replacing him — A.J Bouye.

Harris had all but punched his ticket out of town due to repeated finger-pointing, contract wrangles, and inconsistent performances throughout 2019. Due to Head Coach Vic Fangio’s fondness for Bouye's versatile skill-set, he had always been on the team's radar in the event of the Broncos moving on from Harris. 

As far back as his time spent as the Chicago Bears' defensive coordinator, Fangio had coveted Bouye, principally because he saw him as a perfect fit for his zone-centric scheme.

Broncos S Kareem Jackson has cultivated somewhat of a big brother/little brother relationship with Bouye, due to their four years spent as teammates in Houston. Last week, Jackson spoke with Sandy Clough and Orlando Franklin on 104.3 The FAN to outline how his old friend can fill the void left by Harris' departure.

“With us losing Chris Harris, I think [Bouye] will step right in and he will be another veteran guy who will take over that role,” Jackson said.

It might come as somewhat of a blow to Harris to learn that the Broncos' top brass were already asking for information on his chosen replacement even before he packed his bags to join the L.A. Chargers. Jackson revealed that he had been asked about his previous teammate prior to Elway pulling the trigger on the Bouye trade.

“Man, I was very excited. Actually they asked me about him [Bouye] previous to making that move and I was kinda waiting to see what was gonna happen with it, or whatever," Jackson revealed. "Once they made the move, I was very excited because I know what he is capable of."

It's safe to assume Jackson's info helped assuage any concerns the team might have had in acquiring Bouye. This kind of open thinking in the front office, and the sharing of information with players, could set the Broncos up with a much-improved roster moving forward.

If the trade for Bouye proves itself on the field to be a substantial upgrade over an All-Decade player like Harris, it might well be a strategy that is here to stay for Elway.

The general consensus has been that the Broncos had grown tired of Harris' passive/aggressive shenanigans by the end and were keen to let him move on. Beyond that, it’s clear that the team brass also saw it as an opportunity to provide a better fit for Fangio's scheme along the way. 

Furnishing Fangio with a bigger, more physical perimeter corner for only a fourth-round draft pick and manageable salary cap hit was an all-round good business decision. 

“He’s a great fit in Vic’s system with his instincts, ball skills, toughness and ability to play in a defense that mixes coverages," Elway said via the team site after Bouye was acquired. "In addition to having the size on the outside to match up against larger receivers, A.J is an excellent tackler. He’s a complete corner who gives us what we need in both pass coverage and against the run.”

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Elway’s statement was an expression of confidence that the Broncos had actively improved the roster, rather than just plugging a future hole. That kind of faith in Bouye is now reinforced by Jackson, who is likewise confident that he will be able to fit right in.

“You have a guy like A.J Bouye, in my opinion, is another big-time guy in this league. You know for me it’s no drop-off, the guy can do it all,” Jackson declared to The FAN. “He can do it all….he can play off [coverage]…he can press [coverage]. He can go follow if he needs to which I don’t think he will have to with us getting Bryce [Callahan] back healthy.”

Reconstructing the Broncos' cornerback position will depend heavily on the bond of communication built up during Jackson and Bouye's time spent together in Houston. As far as Jackson is concerned, the mental and physical faculties won’t be lacking when Bouye hits the field in 2020.

“I played with him, I think, for four years in Houston, and from day one that he came in you could see he had the tools. Took him no time to kinda come into his own as a pro and you know, apply himself,” Jackson said via The FAN.

Follow Keith on Twitter @KeithC_NFL and @MileHighHuddle.

Comments (11)
No. 1-7
Chad Jensen
Chad Jensen

Editor

A very interesting morsel. Elway/Fangio checking with Kareem before pulling the trigger on Bouye.

Dick Hanky
Dick Hanky

They'd be remiss if they hadn't. KJ does know him well, great source. They still need at least one more CB.

Arbbq
Arbbq

Does anyone know how many pro bowls Bouye’s had? Just curious since he will be replacing a player with 4 of them and was named to the All Decade team. Harris had a down year in a new system and so he’s trashed like some loud mouth punk. Yeah Bouye’s younger, but Jackson and Bouye haven’t proven anything yet nor has Cummings. Harris wanted to test the market. So what. Remember, there are two sides to every story. It didn’t work out. The Broncos would be foolish to think Harris won’t be missed given our current crew. That’s why we will be looking at the top CB draft talent or another free agent to fortify a grounded no fly zone.

3 Replies

Rideordiedbfan
Rideordiedbfan

Harris Jr was missed last year when he didn't show up. His style of didnt work with fangio system. He pouted about not getting a good contract and tested the market. That blew up in his face and he took less money from the Broncos rivals. I appreciate what he did for the Broncos but that pride got him. And the Broncos will make him pay twice a year for maybe two more years and he will be a salary cap casualty and retire a bronco

VinSinz Bronko
VinSinz Bronko

I have much love for CHJ25, I wanted to see him play out his career here as much as any. Unfortunately he kinda did talk his way out of here. He was offered an extension that was, as we see now, very well above market value for his age and declining skill set. Von Miller though thick and thin, stayed positive all season, insisted all fingers be pointed at him and led the rally with the team dinner that ultimately resulted in a 4-1 finish. Harris was another leader on the team had a different attitude about the cirmcstances and kinda had a Scram Newton point of view, with negativity and deflection. Facts are facts, he wanted out of here after the 18-19 season because he wanted to be with a wimner. Now he's with a franchise not known for winning going in the opposite direction that the team he left is going. There's still plenty cap space and there's still a need for another quality cb. Pride is hard to swallow, but would have been worth being part of another potential SB run. Are we SB contenders yet? I know we're playoff contenders and anyone in the playoffs can win a super bowl.

Jimrichard
Jimrichard

Haven't seen this Bouye play much but Jackson has certainly proved things to me. The guy is nothing but a guided missile.. I remember seeing him when the Broncos played Houston and after completely blowing up two plays i thought I don't know who this guy is but the Broncos better call a play to the other side. Having someone he knows back there can only help out with communication and cohesiveness back there. Now please Callahan get healthy.

Chunnel
Chunnel

CJ Henderson-1st rd
Or
Ojmudiae-5th

KeithCummings
KeithCummings

It's refreshing to see the front office opening up to in house feedback. AJ should adequately replace CHJ and possibly be a significant improvement.

Herfman10
Herfman10

I liked CHJ and thought he was a Very Good CB. But all-decade team to me is ridiculous. It’s easy to shine as a CB when you have Champ Bailey and Aqib Talib covering the WR1 on the other side. CHJ has not been nearly as shutdown since Talib left.

ghmartin5683
ghmartin5683

I think Harris run with Denver ended after the loss to the Jaguars when he was quoted saying he's gone after the season. Then he got torched first by Odell Beckham Jr. ,then Stefan Diggs and other receivers. I'll miss the No Fly Zone, but hopefully Bouye, Jackson, Simmons, and either Bausby or Callahan will do their jobs.


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