The Denver Broncos won Super Bowl 50 against the Carolina Panthers thanks largely to the play of their defense. It was the defense that carried the 2015 team through a tough year of struggling offense, and it was fittingly the defense that got the Broncos in the end zone first against Carolina.
After the offense took the ball down the field and put the Broncos up 3-0, the defense came out and did what it had been doing all year -- torturing the opposing quarterback. On a 3rd-and-10 from deep within their own territory, Cam Newton dropped back to pass and he was stripped by Von Miller. It's one of the greatest individual shows of pure dominance that we ever saw from Miller in orange and blue, as he blew past the offensive tackle and just went right up to Newton and took the ball out of his hands.
As the ball bounced around, it was Malik Jackson -- a fourth-year player having a dominant season in his own right that year -- who landed on it in the end zone to help put the Broncos up 10-0.
Jackson is calling it a career after 10 seasons in the league. He spent four years with the Denver Broncos -- his first four in the league -- followed by stints with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Philadelphia Eagles, and Cleveland Browns. Jackson got a huge free agent contract from the Jaguars in the 2016 offseason following the team's win in Super Bowl 50, joining the mass exodus of players that left the Broncos that particular offseason.
Seeing Jackson leave was particularly painful at the time. In the NFL, you can't keep everyone, but Jackson had stated after he signed with the Jaguars in free agency that the Broncos had a chance to keep him if they would have just made an offer during training camp the year before. He even said he would have signed for way less than market value.
The full context of that quote is required for better understanding. Jackson was talking about the Broncos not waiting so long to make offers to these guys. That was a major problem for them with Jackson and Brock Osweiler, specifically. The Broncos did make those two players substantial offers, but their waiting to the last minute to do so was a mistake for two major reasons.
First of all, they offended the players by not making them feel valued long-term. Second, the Broncos' offers came in at less than market value than other teams were offering.
At any rate, Jackson's contributions to the Denver Broncos are etched forever in franchise lore. His play in Super Bowl 50 (and of course, all of the games leading up to that point) will never be forgotten. He officially announced his retirement on Good Morning Football:
As a member of the Denver Broncos, Jackson had 134 total tackles, 44 QB hits, 27 tackles for loss, and 14.5 sacks. He had a career-best 4 QB hits during that magical 2015 Super Bowl run as well, capping off an outstanding four years in Denver before enjoying some great success in Jacksonville as well, where he made his first Pro Bowl.