When you win a Super Bowl, you can’t keep everyone. It was rumored earlier this week that star defensive end Malik Jackson wanted a big contract. The Denver Broncos cannot please everyone, though, and Jackson left for Jacksonville.
His contract, according to ESPN’s Michael DiRocco, is reportedly for six years and is worth $90 million.
The Broncos had announced earlier in the week that it would be difficult to retain Jackson because of the interest he would generate in the free agent market. The Broncos had also highlighted deals with linebacker and Super Bowl MVP Von Miller and past-backup quarterback Brock Osweiler as important deals that needed to be made ASAP.
Malik Jackson famously recovered a Von Miller strip of quarterback Cam Newton and dove on it in the end zone for a touchdown in Super Bowl 50. He also was very effective this year, posting a career-best 45 tackles for the league’s number one defense and a career-best seven blocked passes.
Jackson played in just over 75% of the defensive snaps the Broncos ran this year, and was routinely one of the most efficient and effective Broncos based on the number of impact plays he made versus how much time he played.
The Jacksonville Jaguars, unfortunately for the Broncos, were in a great position to sign Jackson, as they reportedly have $79 million to spend under the salary cap this offseason. Though he isn’t an elite pass rusher, Jackson will shore up the Jaguars’ interior and can play on the edge in certain packages if needed.
The Jaguars were among the league’s worst at rushing the quarterback this season. They only generated 36 sacks. And their two top sackers will not return this season. Malik Jackson was a must for this organization. And snatching him up will ensure that they have some backfield presence, in their opponents’ backfield, this coming season.