2. Malik Jackson finds greener pastures
I don’t know if I actually think this is going to happen, or if I simply dread that it’s going to happen… Here’s the situation with Malik Jackson…
There are a lot of teams in the NFL right now with a lot of money. Jackson is interested in finding out what he’s worth on the open market. The Broncos are going to have to overpay (a little) to keep him with an increased salary cap and teams around the league who are willing to give Jackson exactly what he wants: a big, fat, hefty contract.
The Broncos are going to have to meet Jackson at a point that I don’t know if they are going to be willing to go, especially having to pay both Von Miller and Brock Osweiler, who we will talk about later on in this post. Here are the highest paid 3-4 defensive ends in the NFL right now…
In terms of his consistency in production over the last two years (despite not being a full-time starter until 2015), Jackson is better than most of the guys on this list in my opinion. He is going to command at least $11 million on the open market, probably more. That puts the Broncos in a really tough spot.
Do you shell out the $11-12 million per season for Malik Jackson when you are now also paying Derek Wolfe and are soon to be paying Von Miller?
This is a really tough call.
Some team like the Jaguars or — dare I say Raiders? — perhaps the Chicago Bears or 49ers, Giants, Titans…All of these teams make sense because they would have a need for Malik Jackson, and all these teams have a lot of money. There could be a bidding war for his services and the price could exceed $13-14-maybe even 15 million per season.
The Broncos simply can’t pay that much, not with the other guys they need to afford.
Unless Jackson is willing to settle in the $11 million range, I think his time with the Broncos is finished. And for that, I would salute him.
At the price he’s expected to command, the Broncos would almost certainly receive a 3rd round compensatory draft pick in 2017.
Next: Brock Osweiler