Broncos still in the mix for Malik Jackson?


According to Mike Klis, the Denver Broncos are still in the mix for defensive lineman Malik Jackson, who is drawing interest from cap-rich teams.

The tampering period for free agents is underway, and that means a whole host of Denver Broncos players are going to be pursued by teams around the league. For Malik Jackson, it’s not about which teams will pursue him, it’s about the ones that he has narrowed it down to at this point.

According to a report from Mike Klis, the Broncos are among four finalists…

At least the Broncos still have skin in the game. Malik Jackson was open about testing the market, and the next couple of days will provide him that opportunity. He’s getting looks from teams with which he would have some familiarity, so let’s take a look at his fit with each, as well as make a case for him to return to the Broncos…

Jacksonville Jaguars

This makes sense for one reason — the Jaguars have a lot of money. And I guess if Jackson was great friends with Julius Thomas, it would also make sense. Duval has been a hot destination for big name Broncos free agents over the last three years, including players like Thomas and Zane Beadles who were Pro Bowlers.

Jackson stands to make the most money of the three, but Beadles has already been released. The Jaguars apparently overpaid.

Who knew?

With Gus Bradley calling the shots as the head coach, you know the defense is going to play fast and aggressive but a 4-3 style base defense. Jackson excelled in a 4-man front in 2013 and 2014, but emerged as a superstar in the 3-4 this past year.

Oakland Raiders

The connection here is two-fold:

  1. Jack Del Rio
  2. Money

Great. But you’d have to live in Oakland and play for the Raiders. I refuse to say the Raiders are on the rise. I refuse to say the Raiders have a decent core of young players.

Malik Jackson paired with Khalil Mack would not be better than Malik Jackson with Von Miller, Derek Wolfe, and the host of players Denver has around them. Oakland is a good fit in terms of the Del Rio connection and the ability to make the huge payday he wants, but really?

Don’t do us like that, Malik.

Chicago Bears

Again, the connection is two-fold:

  1. John Fox
  2. Money

The money would be more than the Broncos could offer, and the fit in Vic Fangio’s defense is intriguing. I’d still argue the case for the Broncos, who have Bill Kollar on the d-line and Wade Phillips calling the defense. The supporting cast is also better in Denver, though Chicago is improving.

Denver Broncos

The Broncos can’t offer Jackson as much money as he would get from the other teams on the market. That’s a given. John Elway can, however, offer him a competitive contract and the Broncos are fresh off of a Super Bowl. If the difference is three million per season, wouldn’t you choose to play with the guys you just won a championship with, the guys you have built relationships with and gone to battle with the last four seasons?

I certainly would, but I am not Malik Jackson.

I think the best fit is obviously in Denver, but you can’t keep everyone. I just really hope he makes the right choice, whether or not he leaves.