Malik Jackson

NFC East Notes: Giants, Cowboys, Jackson

Entering another will-they/won’t-they draft regarding a first-round quarterback investment, the Giants have been setting up meetings with the top prospects. John Mara confirmed he wants the Giants to come away with a quarterback in this year’s first round, and the Giants now have two of the first 17 selections in this draft. But the owner will not force a need pick, despite how glaring the need is.

I would like to come out of this draft with a quarterback, but here’s the thing: Show me what the grades are,” Mara said, via SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano. “What’s the value?,” Mara said. “If the top quarterbacks are graded towards the bottom of the first round or even the second round, I’m not going to insist that we take one at No. 6 or even No. 17.”

Rumors have emerged about the Giants cooling on this year’s crop of quarterbacks, but that could change after visits and workouts. They are not looking to package their Nos. 6 and 17 picks to move up, either. Dave Gettleman does not believe a non-first-round pick will cut it as Eli Manning‘s successor, so this draft figures to be critical. But the 2020 class is, as of now, viewed as a better potential crop of passers, complicating Big Blue’s scenario.

The worst thing you can do is try to force the issue and then you end up with a quarterback that isn’t worth taking at the particular spot,” Mara said. “Would we love to have a quarterback coming out of this draft? Yes, but only if we have a conviction about him. And we’re not there yet.”

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • Although Amari Cooper showed immense promise with the Cowboys, he has produced uneven work samples the past two seasons. Nevertheless, the Cowboys are committed and ready to discuss a high-end extension. The new deal for Antonio Brown and one that may be coming for Julio Jones have not fazed Dallas, per Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Twitter link). The Cowboys were planning a re-up for the former top-five pick immediately after acquiring him, but after Cooper posted two 180-yard games (prior to three sub-35-yard showings), the negotiations figure to be more interesting.
  • The Cowboys’ glut of extension-eligible young talents likely steered them away from Earl Thomas. Their top bid was not going to contend with the Ravens’, Jerry Jones said (via David Moore of the Dallas Morning News, on Twitter). Thomas signed a four-year, $55MM deal. The Cowboys are still looking at safeties.
  • It does not look like Brandon Graham will be moving inside as much in 2019. On passing downs, the Eagles want to deploy Malik Jackson as the interior sub-package pass rusher alongside Fletcher Cox, filling the Michael Bennett role, Howie Roseman said (via Philly.com’s Zach Berman, on Twitter). This adds up, considering Jackson has been an interior defender for most of his career. Having added Jackson and brought back Vinny Curry, the Eagles’ defensive line again profiles as one of the NFL’s deepest position groups.

Contract Details: Jackson, Verrett, Roberts, Williams, Paulsen

Some assorted contract details from around the NFL:

  • Malik Jackson, DT (Eagles): Five years, $50MM, $17MM guaranteed. $9MM signing bonus, $1MM 2019 salary guaranteed. $7.6MM salary in 2020, $4.6MM of which is guaranteed. Base salaries of $9MM, $10MM, and $11MM in 2021-2023. Twitter link via Dan Graziano of ESPN.com.
  • Jason Verrett, CB (49ers): One year, cap charge of $1.5MM. $1.1MM salary of which $600K is guaranteed, plus $400K signing bonus. Verrett “can earn up to $3 million for the season if he is active for all 16 games. It’s $31,250 per game on 53-man roster (up to $500k) and an additional Roster Bonus of $62,500 per game on 46-man game day roster (up to $1 million)”. Twitter links via Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com.
  • Darryl Roberts, CB (Jets): Re-signed. Three years, $18MM max value, but essentially only a one year deal according to Darryl Slater of NJ.com. There’s $6MM in guaranteed money, with another $2MM of his 2020 salary guaranteed for injury only. $5MM salary in 2020, $6.5MM salary in 2021, and zero dead money in either year if they want to cut him.
  • Tyrell Williams, WR (Raiders): Four years, $44MM. There was originally reported to be $22MM in guaranteed money, but that’s apparently not true. There’s only $10MM in guaranteed money in the contract, according to Vic Tafur of The Athletic (Twitter link).
  • Logan Paulsen, TE (Falcons): Re-signed. Paulsen’s one year deal will have a base salary of $930K. Twitter link via Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com.

Extra Points: Golden, Jackson, Marshall

Here’s the latest from around the NFL:

  • The Giants have interest in Cardinals free agent Markus Golden, according to Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com (on Twitter). As per usual, free agent pass rushers are expected to cash in big, so Golden could be looking at a substantial deal. Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher coached Golden in Arizona in 2016 when he notched 12.5 sacks, so it’s a logical fit.
  • The Broncos placed a call on Malik Jackson after his release from Jacksonville, a source close to the player tells Mike Klis of 9News (on Twitter). However, the Broncos didn’t really need Jackson, and they have placed a greater emphasis on finding a nose tackle. Jackson, of course, inked a three-year, $30MM deal with the Eagles this morning.
  • Five teams are interested in Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall, according to ESPN.com’s Josina Anderson (on Twitter). As previously reported, Marshall’s option for 2019 will not be exercised.

Eagles To Sign Malik Jackson

And then there was one. Malik Jackson will sign with the Eagles, according to Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Word of Jackson’s impending deal comes moments after we learned the Eagles and Packers were the leading contenders to sign the defensive tackle

When all is said and done, it will be a three-year, $30MM deal, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). There’s no word yet on the guarantees or pay structure, but it sounds like a solid deal for both sides.

Jackson joined the Jaguars on a six-year, $85.5MM in 2016. Then, last week, the Jaguars released him in a cost-cutting measure. His release did not come as a huge surprise – Taven Bryan supplanted him down the stretch of the 2018 season and his contract precluded the club from trading him.

Last year, Jackson notched just 32 tackles and 3.5 sacks, with Pro Football Focus ranking him 85th among 112 interior defenders. However, he was a Pro Bowler as recently as 2017 and enjoyed a solid first season in Jacksonville. Jackson also racked up 14.5 sacks across his final three years in Denver, despite only spending one of those campaigns as a full-time starter.

With Jackson, the Eagles have successfully upgraded their defensive front after trading Michael Bennett to the Patriots.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles, Packers Eyeing Malik Jackson

The Jaguars dumped Malik Jackson last week, but the defensive tackle won’t be out of work for long. Jackson is in advanced negotiations with both the Packers and Eagles, Mike Florio of PFT (on Twitter) hears. Those two clubs are Jackson’s “primary options,” but there could be other clubs in on the veteran. 

Jackson had three years to go on the six-year, $85.5MM contract he inked with the Jaguars in 2016, but the Jags cut him to save $11MM against the cap. They tried to find a suitable trade for Jackson, but were unable to find a team willing to take on his contract and forfeit anything of value.

Jackson didn’t miss a single game during his time with the Jaguars and even earned a Pro Bowl nod in 2017. However, he took a step back in 2018 and was benched late in the season in favor of Taven Bryan. Jackson finished the season with 32 tackles and 3.5 sacks, with Pro Football Focus ranking him just 85th among 112 interior defenders.

The Packers have been looking for a defensive line upgrade and Jackson could be a strong value add. Meanwhile, the Eagles are looking to fortify their D-Line in the wake of the Michael Bennett trade.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jaguars To Release Malik Jackson

The Jaguars informed defensive tackle Malik Jackson that he will be released, a source tells Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Jackson still has three years to go on the six-year, $85.5MM contract he inked in 2016, but the Jags will cut him to save $11MM against $4MM in dead money. 

Jackson didn’t missed a single game during his time with the Jaguars and earned a Pro Bowl nod in 2017. However, he took a bit of a step back in 2018, and he was ultimately benched for Taven Bryan down the stretch. He finished the season with 32 tackles and 3.5 sacks, with Pro Football Focus ranking him just 85th among 112 interior defenders.

The Jaguars tried, and failed, to find a suitable trade for Jackson. Jackson still has value, of course, but no team gave real consideration to adding the veteran at his current salary. After his release is finalized, he’ll be free to sign elsewhere, albeit at a cheaper rate than his previous deal.

After losing his starting job in December, Jackson saw the writing on the wall.

In my mind, if I’m third or fourth on the depth chart making $14.5MM to $15MM, I don’t see too much future for me in Jacksonville,” Jackson said. “I’m not trying to be a journeyman by any means. But it’s a business and soon as you try to forget that then it’s a rude awakening for sure.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jaguars Shopping DT Malik Jackson, RB Carlos Hyde

The Jaguars are apparently looking to move on from a pair of veterans. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that the organization is trying to trade defensive tackle Malik Jackson and running back Carlos Hyde. The team is hoping to make a move by the start of the league year on March 13th.

Jackson hasn’t missed a game with the Jaguars since he inked a massive six-year, $85.5MM contract ($31.5MM guaranteed) back in 2016. He started all 32 of his games during his first two seasons in Jacksonville, and he earned a Pro Bowl nod in 2017. However, he took a bit of a step back in 2018, and he was ultimately benched for Taven Bryan down the stretch. He finished the season with 32 tackles and 3.5 sacks, with Pro Football Focus ranking him 85th among 112 interior defenders.

Jackson is owed more than $13MM in each of the next three seasons, and his cap hit exceeds $15MM in 2019 and 2020. If a team were to acquire Jackson, they’d surely be looking for him to take a significant pay cut. The Jaguars could also choose to cut the 29-year-old, although they’d be left with $4MM in dead cap in 2019 and $2MM in dead cap in 2020.

Hyde joined the Jaguars in a midseason trade with the Browns, and he proceeded to run for 189 yards and zero touchdowns in eight games (two starts). Hyde has two more years remaining on his deal, but Jacksonville does have the ability to get out of the contract this offseason. With T.J. Yeldon hitting free agency, the team could also decide to retain Hyde as Leonard Fournette insurance.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jaguars’ Malik Jackson Expects To Be Cut

Three years ago, Malik Jackson inked a six-year, $85.5MM contract with the Jaguars. However, Jackson doesn’t expect to play out the second half of that deal. In a conversation with John Reid of the Florida Times-Union, Jackson said that he expects to be released in the offseason. 

In my mind, if I’m third or fourth on the depth chart making $14.5MM to $15MM, I don’t see too much future for me in Jacksonville,” Jackson said Wednesday. “I’m not trying to be a journeyman by any means. But it’s a business and soon as you try to forget that then it’s a rude awakening for sure.”

Jackson was a Pro Bowler in 2017, but he was dropped from the starting lineup in November and has ceded snaps to rookie Taven Bryan. With that in mind, Jackson’s assessment is probably spot on. The Jaguars can save $11MM by cutting the 28-year-old (29 in January) versus just $4MM in dead money.

Jackson, meanwhile, is taking it all in stride. He says that he’s learned to embrace his role as a mentor to Bryan and other young teammates, following the example set by Peyton Manning. He’s also motivated to close out the season strong and showcase himself for prospective suitors.

With my situation, I’m playing for 31 other teams potentially,” Jackson said regarding the final three games. “I have to show these teams that I’m playing at a high level. I’m a pass rusher with one sack. So I have to show this team that I’m consistently still getting to the quarterback, but I’m just not finishing. So for me, I have to show a lot of people a lot of things about who I am and what I am and what I’m continuing trying to build for myself.

Jackson has just one sack this year, a big drop off from his eight sacks in 2017. However, he still has a nose for getting to the quarterback, as evidenced by his 40 pressures this season. That ties with Ndamukong Suh for eleventh in the NFL among defensive tackles, according to Pro Football Focus.

On the flipside, his overall PFF score leaves much to be desired. Jackson is ranked just 94th out of 118 qualified DTs, per PFF.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos Offered Malik Jackson Five-Year Deal

The Broncos let defensive end Malik Jackson walk in free agency, but they didn’t do so without putting up a fight. Speaking today to reporters, including Cameron Wolfe of the Denver Post (Twitter link), Jackson said he declined a five-year, $53MM contract offer from Denver before the start of free agency. Jackson went on to sign with the Jaguars for six years and $85.5MM.Malik Jackson (Vertical)

[RELATED: Broncos Extend Darian Stewart]

Jackson, 26, admitted that had the Broncos offered the same contract prior to the 2015 season, he likely would have accepted, but acknowledged that “things changed” as the campaign progressed. For one, Denver extended fellow defensive end Derek Wolfe on a four-year, $36.7MM deal, and Jackson “thought [he] would demand a few more dollars than [Wolfe],” tweets Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post. Second, Jackson played extremely well, grading as the league’s No. 16 interior defender per Pro Football Focus, and skyrocketed to the No. 2 overall position on PFR’s Top 2016 Free Agents.

Of course, while it’s difficult to compare the specifics of Denver’s offer to Jacksonville’s offer without knowing the exact nature and structure of the Broncos’ proposal, it’s safe to say that Jackson made the right decision in heading to the free agent market. He scored $31.5MM guaranteed from the Jaguars, and he’ll earn $44.5MM in the first three years of the deal — both figures would have been extremely difficult for Denver to match given their spate of 2016 free agents.

Jackson, for his part, has held up his end of the deal thus far, ranking as PFF’s 24th-best interior defender on the season. However, the Broncos are getting along without him, as they’ve posted a 7-4 record while fielding the NFL’s No. 2 defense by DVOA. The Jaguars, on the other hand, are last in the AFC South with a 2-9 mark, and despite Jackson’s contributions, their defense ranks only 16th in DVOA.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

La Canfora’s Latest: Kap, Glennon, Manziel

Colin Kaepernick‘s contract won’t be a stumbling block in a quarterback-needy team’s potential deal for the polarizing passer, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com reports.

Citing the deals given to Sam Bradford, Brock Osweiler and career backup Chase Daniel, La Canfora notes Kapernick’s contract — which the 49ers can shed prior to April 1 — represents less risk than the deals handed to the aforementioned signal-callers. Following this season, a team that trades for Kaepernick could move on from him and take on barely any dead money.

La Canfora, though, expects the 49ers to cut Kaepernick before his $11.9MM base salary becomes guaranteed in April. This will affect the kind of compensation teams are willing to provide in exchange for Kaepernick’s services, La Canfora notes.

The Browns have emerged as the latest team in the driver’s seat for Kaepernick, but the 49ers aren’t in a rush to make a deal. The Broncos, though, strike La Canfora as the best possible landing site for the 28-year-old passer. La Canfora doesn’t believe Ryan Fitzpatrick or Robert Griffin III are too appealing to the Broncos’ brass.

Here are more items from the CBS Sports reporter, beginning with another possible Peyton Manning replacement.

  • The Buccaneers turned down a second-round pick from an unknown team in exchange for Mike Glennon, La Canfora writes. Despite the 26-year-old backup quarterback’s contract expiring after this season, the Bucs are inclined to keep Glennon as of now.
  • La Canfora can’t envision a team taking a chance on signing Johnny Manziel after he clears waivers following his turbulent and ineffective Browns tenure and hasn’t heard any buzz surrounding a potential landing spot for the third-year quarterback.
  • Most personnel men La Canfora’s conversed with rate Derek Wolfe as superior to Malik Jackson, and La Canfora notes the former probably has buyer’s remorse after signing a team-friendly four-year, $36.7MM deal with the Broncos only to watch Jackson land with the Jaguars on a six-year, $85.5MM accord. Pro Football Focus rated Jackson as the far superior player in 2014, when both were healthy after a seizure derailed Wolfe in 2013, but tabbed Wolfe as having a better 2015 season.
  • Following the signings of Janoris Jenkins and Sean Smith, Patrick Robinson should be the most coveted cornerback in the remaining crop, La Canfora writes. Robinson had a bounce-back season with the Chargers, but Prince Amukamara and Casey Hayward remain unsigned as well. The respective markets for that duo’s services could well surpass Robinson’s.
  • La Canfora expects a run on defensive linemen to come this weekend, with the Bears, Jets, Steelers and Washington being the teams who will be atop the list of suitors. Greg Hardy, Robert Ayers and Nick Fairley are among the best still available.
  • Donald Penn would be a suitable replacement for Russell Okung with the Seahawks, La Canfora writes. Penn probably won’t require the annual commitment of Okung as he’s going on his age-33 season. Okung is visiting the Giants and Lions today. Although multiple teams have shown interest, Penn has yet to meet with any teams after his two-year Raiders contract expired.