It wasn’t realistic that the Denver Broncos would be able to keep their entire defense together after a dominating season, ending with a victory in Super Bowl 50.
Malik Jackson appears to be a big winner (financially) yet again in free agency. Jackson will be leaving the Denver Broncos and will play for the Jacksonville Jaguars next season.
Jackson’s deal is reportedly six years for $86.5 million, with $31.5 million fully guaranteed. That guaranteed number could go up to $42 million if Jackson is on the Jaguars roster in 2018. As talented as Jackson is, it would be hard to find anyone who thinks the Jaguars aren’t overpaying for him. But overpaying players is what comes with the first day of free agency.
The Jaguars had the cash to spend and the desire to get better quickly. And it just didn’t make sense for the Broncos to match the money the Jaguars were willing to offer Jackson with so many other talents already on their defense.
Jackson was picked by the Broncos in the fifth round in the 2012 draft. He had one defensive touchdown in his four years with Denver earlier this year running in a forced fumble by Von Miller in Super Bowl 50. This play, in front of the entire football watching universe, was certainly the best timing Jackson could have imagined for a defensive touchdown.
While Jackson will be a difficult player for the Broncos to replace, his departure from the roster is not a cause for alarm. John Elway, Wade Philips and Bill Kollar are all more than capable of finding and coaching up players to fill any defensive holes.
One thing the Broncos won't miss about Jackson is his history with penalties. In the 2015 season Jackson was called for three unneccessary roughness penalties, two 15-yard face mask penalties, and one unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
Jackson won't be away from his former Broncos teammates for long. The Denver Broncos will be playing the Jacksonville Jaguars next season in Florida.
Best of luck Malik Jackson, and thanks for your time as a Denver Bronco!