Denver Broncos must prioritize Von Miller, Malik Jackson

When the time comes, the Denver Broncos must prioritize re-signing Von Miller and Malik Jackson this offseason…

It’s no secret that the Denver Broncos have had success defensively because of the drafting of Von Miller, and every move since then has been in support of that.

This offseason, Miller’s rookie contract and team option year are up, and he’s due a massive pay day. Unfortunately for the Broncos’ front office, he’s not the only one. The Broncos have to face the reality in the near future of re-signing — or choosing which ones to re-sign — all of Miller, Malik Jackson, Danny Trevathan, Brandon Marshall, Brock Osweiler, Ronnie Hillman, and a number of others.

With Derek Wolfe re-signed, it’s clear the Broncos have their sights set on keeping the front seven as much in-tact as possible. Wolfe was given a deal very similar to that of Cameron Heyward with the Pittsburgh Steelers, nearly $38 million in total money over the life of the contract.

At this point, it seems like the Broncos will either have to hand Von Miller a blank check, or franchise tag him. The latter will make keeping Malik Jackson around much more difficult. At any rate, those two players should be the Broncos’ offseason in-house priority, and this playoff run has proven exactly why.

Tom Brady’s uniform from the AFC Championship game has proven why.

The Broncos racked up 19 hits on Tom Brady in their AFC title game, and Miller was an absolutely dominant presence. It might not all have happened without the disruptive play of Jackson, who was absolutely phenomenal himself. Jackson didn’t have a sack but he had a number of hits on Brady, and contributed to the flustering of one of the league’s best signal callers.

The Broncos would not have won the game without the stellar play of their front seven, and you could point to a vast number of games this season with that exact logic. The front seven play has been phenomenal all year, and obviously Von Miller is the cornerstone piece of it all. After him, the Broncos have already locked in Derek Wolfe. DeMarcus Ware still has another year left on his contract and is clearly in great playing shape.

The only question is whether or not the team would be able to keep around Malik Jackson, and I think they need to figure out a way to make it happen. Jackson isn’t a double-digit sack guy, not with the speed coming off the edges, but he’s just as disruptive on a play-by-play basis as any defensive lineman and is one of the Broncos’ most valuable players.

On the open market, he’d command a really good contract. The Broncos would be hard-pressed to match it and still be able to afford other players they want. But if you figure you basically replace the Peyton Manning contract this offseason with Von Miller’s, you can afford to pay Jackson a good amount before things start getting tight financially.

Whatever the case, it’s imperative the Broncos do not lose the momentum they have built with their front seven, which is mostly home grown talent. Keeping Von Miller is a no-brainer, but keeping Malik Jackson might be just as much of one.