Malik Jackson

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)

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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.

Free Agent Rumors: Jackson, Broncos, Long

The Broncos offered Malik Jackson roughly $11MM per year before he signed with the Jaguars, Troy Renck of The Denver Post tweets. The Broncos also made a strong offer to Brock Osweiler before he decided to join up with the Texans. The Broncos did not want to let linebacker Brandon Marshall get away, of course, which is why they used a second round RFA tender on him. When it comes to Danny Trevathan, however, the team decided to move on, so the front office wasn’t too crushed when he signed with the Bears.

Here are the latest free agent rumors:

  • Defensive end Chris Long wants to play for a winning team, Dianna Marie Russini of ESPN.com tweets. Long has spoken with the Falcons, Cowboys, and Washington, and a decision should be coming soon.
  • Tight end Jermaine Gresham is on his way to the Bears, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. It’s an interesting visit as the Bears toy with the idea of trading Martellus Bennett.
  • Free agent guard Louis Vasquez will visit the Titans, but it will happen this weekend rather than on Friday as originally planned, John Glennon of The Tennessean tweets.
  • Cornerback Sherrick McManis is visiting with an AFC East team today, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune tweets. McManis, who led the Bears with 17 special teams tackles, could still re-sign with Chicago.

Jaguars Sign Malik Jackson

THURSDAY, 11:37am: The Jaguars have officially signed Jackson, John Oehser of Jaguars.com tweets.

TUESDAY, 1:35pm: Jackson and the Jaguars agreed to a six-year deal worth up to $90MM, with $42MM in fully guaranteed money, reports Mike Klis of 9NEWS. According to Klis, the deal is worth $85.5MM, with another $4.5MM in playing-time incentives for the final three seasons.

Jackson’s $42MM guarantee puts him right in the ballpark of Marcell Dareus ($42.9MM), exceeding every other defensive lineman’s guarantee except for Ndamukong Suh‘s (nearly $60MM).

12:20pm: If the deal is finalized between the Jags and Jackson, the defensive lineman will earn roughly $15MM per year, a source tells ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter).

12:10pm: Malik Jackson has agreed to join the Jaguars. The former Broncos defensive lineman confirmed to Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (on Twitter) that he is Jacksonville-bound. Negotiations are still ongoing, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter), but it will be a six-year deal once it’s all done (link). Of course, no deal can be official until Wednesday at 4 ET/3 CT. Exact terms of the contract are not yet known.

Jackson recorded a personal-best 45 tackles and five sacks during his third straight 16-game regular season in 2015-16, finishing 16th out of Pro Football Focus’ 123 qualifying interior defenders in overall performance (subscription required). PFR’s Luke Adams ranks Jackson the second-best free agent in this year’s class. As of this writing, the Jaguars have roughly $82MM in cap space, per Over The Cap. The Jackson deal will obviously put a significant dent in that number.

The Jaguars are clearly high on Broncos players as they have signed Denver free agents to big deals in each of last three years. In 2014, they inked offensive lineman Zane Beadles. In 2015, the Jaguars added tight end Julius Thomas on a five-year deal with a base value of $45MM. So far, this pro-Broncos strategy has been something of a mixed bag for Denver. Thomas caught 46 passes for 455 yards and five touchdowns in an injury shortened season. Beadles, meanwhile, was released just days ago. In 2015, Pro Football Focus ranked the guard 64th out of 81 qualified guards.

In Jacksonville, Jackson might play a role similar to Michael Bennett where he is on the outside on early downs and inside on passing downs. The Jaguars are also expecting to have a healthy Dante Fowler in 2016, so the Jags’ pass rush is shaping up to be rather strong.

Before agreeing to sign with the Jags, Jackson was also being chased by a group of teams including the Raiders, Bears, and the incumbent Broncos.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Contract Details: Osemele, Irvin, M. Jackson

Here are the latest updates on many recently agreed-upon or signed contracts from around the AFC:

AFC West:

  • Kelechi Osemele, G/T (Raiders): Five years, $58.5MM. $25.4MM fully guaranteed. Max value of $60MM via Pro Bowl incentives. Guaranteed base salaries of $6.7MM in 2016 and 2017. $6MM roster bonuses in 2016 and 2017 (Twitter links via Tom Pelissero of USA Today and Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post).
  • Bruce Irvin, OLB (Raiders): Four years, $37MM. $14.5MM fully guaranteed. $19MM total guarantee. $6MM roster bonus in 2016, $2.25MM roster bonus in 2017 (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Joe Barksdale, T (Chargers): Four years, $22MM. $10.5MM fully guaranteed. $4MM signing bonus. Fully guaranteed $3.5MM salary in 2016. $3MM of $4.5MM salary in 2017 fully guaranteed (Twitter links via Wilson).

AFC South:

  • Malik Jackson, DL (Jaguars): Six years, $85.5MM. $31.5MM fully guaranteed. $42MM total guarantee. $10.5MM of $13.5MM base salary for 2018 becomes fully guaranteed in March 2018 (Twitter links via Pelissero).
  • Dwayne Allen, TE (Colts): Four years, $29.4MM. $4MM signing bonus. $16MM total guarantee (including injury guarantee). $5.5MM roster bonus in 2016. $2MM roster bonus on fifth day of 2017 league year (Twitter links via Wilson).
  • Ben Jones, C/G (Titans): Four years, $17.5MM. $3.5MM signing bonus. $7.5MM guaranteed. $2.5MM of $3.5MM salary for 2017 is fully guaranteed. $500K roster bonus due in March 2016 (Twitter links via Wilson).
  • Chris Clark, T (Texans): Two years, $6MM. $1MM signing bonus. $750K roster bonus due on March 16 (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Adam Vinatieri, K (Colts): Two years, $6MM. $1MM of $3.25MM salary for 2016 is guaranteed. Can earn $500K in field-goal percentage incentives each year (Twitter link via Wilson).

AFC North:

  • Shareece Wright, CB (Ravens): Three years, $13MM. $4MM signing bonus. Up to $1MM annually in playing-time incentives (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • William Gay, CB (Steelers): Three years, $7.5MM. $1.9MM signing bonus (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Ben Watson, TE (Ravens): Two years, $7MM. $2MM signing bonus. $3MM fully guaranteed. $1MM roster bonus due April 1, 2016. $1MM escalator for 2017 (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Tank Carder, LB (Browns): Two years, $2.5MM. $300K signing bonus (Twitter link via Wilson).

AFC East:

  • Mario Williams, DE (Dolphins): Two years, $17MM. $4MM signing bonus. Fully guaranteed $4.485MM salary for 2016. $3.5MM of $8.45MM salary for 2017 guaranteed for injury; becomes fully guaranteed on fifth day of 2017 league year. Deal includes incentives for sacks, playing time, Pro Bowls (all Twitter links via Wilson).
  • LaAdrian Waddle, T (Patriots): Two years, $2.35MM. $250K signing bonus. $200K annually in per-game roster bonuses (Twitter links via Wilson and Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press).

Free Agent Rumors: Jaguars, Bengals, Ravens

Jerricho Cotchery is not in the Panthers’ 2016 plans, Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer writes. Cotchery, 34 in June, hauled in 87 passes for 1,065 yards and four touchdowns over the last two seasons with Carolina. The veteran has said that he would only continue playing if it were with the Panthers, so it’s possible that the former Jet will retire this offseason. Cotchery is effectively a free agent with a contract that will automatically void tomorrow.

The latest free agent rumors:

  • The Jaguars are not close to done after agreeing to terms with Malik Jackson, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (on Twitter) hears. The Jags are still interested in top pass rushers and corners.
  • Albert Breer of NFL.com (on Twitter) senses that the Bengals‘ priority guys are safety George Iloka and wide receiver Marvin Jones. Breer hears there is about $15MM budgeted for unrestricted free agents, which may not leave much room for others.
  • Saints free agent tight end Ben Watson is getting “strong, strong interest” from the Ravens, sources tell Dianna Marie Russini of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
  • The Dolphins are in pursuit of defensive end William Hayes, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes. There is a strong market for Hayes, however, so Miami will have some competition to deal with.
  • Running back Lamar Miller wants an annual salary in the range of $6MM or more, which is more than the Dolphins would like to offer, Jackson writes.
  • The Vikings have checked in on Lions free agent linebacker Tahir Whitehead, per Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (on Twitter).
  • The Raiders are working to retain wide receiver Andre Holmes but the sense is that he’ll get decent interest elsewhere, Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports tweets.

Jaguars On Verge Of Signing Malik Jackson?

11:58am: Jackson is about to sign with the Jaguars, Mike Klis of KUSA writes. Jackson’s Broncos teammates have heard that the Jaguars are the clear frontrunners for his services, according to Troy Renck of The Denver Post (on Twitter).

11:31am: The Jaguars are making a very strong push for Broncos defensive lineman Malik Jackson, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com tweets. La Canfora adds that Jackson could agree to sign with Jacksonville “well before” the start of the league year. "<strong

On Monday, we learned that the Jaguars, Bears and Raiders have “expressed serious interest” in signing the Broncos defensive lineman. Denver has offered Jackson anywhere from $11MM to $12MM per season but they’re apparently not the only club that’s willing to go to eight figures per season.

Jackson recorded a personal-best 45 tackles and five sacks during his third straight 16-game regular season in 2015-16, finishing 16th out of Pro Football Focus’ 123 qualifying interior defenders in overall performance (subscription required). PFR’s Luke Adams ranks Jackson the second-best free agent in this year’s class. As of this writing, the Jaguars have roughly $82MM in cap space, per Over The Cap.

In other news, Jaguars defensive tackle Abry Jones signed his one-year contract, as Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union tweets. The restricted free agent will earn $2.553MM.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jags, Bears, Raiders Interested In Malik Jackson

With the legal tampering period underway and free agency drawing ever closer, Broncos defensive lineman Malik Jackson is on the verge of a significant payday. It’s just a matter of which team will pony up for the 26-year-old. While the reigning Super Bowl champions are trying to retain Jackson, having offered him anywhere from $11MM to $12MM per annum as of last week, they’re certainly not the only club intrigued by the four-year veteran. In fact, the Jaguars, Bears and Raiders have “expressed serious interest” in Jackson, reports Mike Klis of 9News.

Based solely on cap space, the defense-needy Jaguars have the best chance to sign Jackson. The Jags have an NFL-high Malik Jackson$82.24MM of spending room. Oakland, Denver’s AFC West rival, is in third at over $60MM. The Bears rank seventh at just under $47MM, while the Broncos lag well behind in the $9MM range.

The Raiders and Bears have obvious connections to Jackson through their head coaches. Oakland’s Jack Del Rio was the Broncos’ defensive coordinator during the first three years of Jackson’s career (2012-14), and the Bears’ John Fox was Denver’s head coach during that time span. Jackson logged little playing time as a fifth-round rookie while Fox and Del Rio were at the helm, but he partook in back-to-back 16 game seasons in his next two campaigns and amassed nine sacks. The 293-pounder has shown great versatility since entering the league, having thrived in two 4-3 positions (defensive tackle and end) and as a 3-4 five-technique end.

Jackson recorded a personal-best 45 tackles and five sacks during his third straight 16-game regular season in 2015-16, finishing 16th out of Pro Football Focus’ 123 qualifying interior defenders in overall performance (subscription required). PFR’s Luke Adams ranks Jackson the second-best free agent in this year’s class.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

FA Rumors: Whitehead, Clayborn, Vikings, Jags

With Kiko Alonso set to head to Miami once the trade between the Dolphins and Eagles becomes official, Philadelphia will be in the market for a new linebacker. And Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com hears that the Eagles are targeting a player with whom new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz is familiar.

According to Shorr-Parks, the Eagles have expressed interest in Lions linebacker Tahir Whitehead, who can become a free agent this week. Whitehead ranked as our top non-rush outside linebacker when we examined 2016’s top defensive free agents over the weekend, and he’d represent an upgrade over Alonso. However, he’ll also be more expensive, so we’ll see if Howie Roseman and the Eagles can make it work.

Here’s more updates on free agents around the NFL:

  • Free agent defensive lineman Adrian Clayborn, who has experience playing inside and outside, is drawing interest from a few teams, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Rapoport identifies the Giants, Jaguars, Cowboys, and Dolphins as some of the clubs “lurking” on Clayborn.
  • Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press passes along a couple updates on the Vikings‘ free agent prospects, reporting (via Twitter) that the team has inquired on safety Reggie Nelson, who previously played for Mike Zimmer in Cincinnati. Tomasson adds (via Twitter) that he’s hearing offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele may be too expensive for Minnesota.
  • Could defensive lineman Malik Jackson be a top target for the Jaguars this week? Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk explains why it could be a good match, noting that Jacksonville is believed to have several targets for the first wave of free agency.
  • Free agent wide receiver James Jones tells Josina Anderson of ESPN (Twitter link) that he wants to keep playing for “at least three more years”
  • Buccaneers safety Keith Tandy, an unrestricted free agent, has been in talks to return to Tampa Bay, and there’s a good chance he re-signs with the team within the next few days, says Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link).

Latest On Broncos

The Broncos have made an offer likely worth upward of $12.27MM per season to pending free agent quarterback Brock Osweiler, reports Troy Renck of The Denver Post. There’s no word on the length of the proposed contract, but the annual value would place Osweiler slightly above Nick Foles‘ $12.25MM per year. Foles, who signed a two-year, $24.5MM extension with the Rams last summer, is just 21st among quarterbacks in average salary.

Denver has until Monday to negotiate exclusively with Osweiler. If no deal is reached by then, the 25-year-old will be able to pursue offers from other teams as part of the NFL’s legal tampering period. Osweiler could then Brock Osweiler (vertical)sign a contract with another club when free agency opens Wednesday.

The Broncos understandably have balked at paying a high price for Osweiler, who hasn’t garnered much playing time since they took him in the second round of the 2012 draft. The 6-foot-8, 240-pounder appeared in a career-high eight games and made his first seven starts last season, but he wasn’t particularly impressive. Osweiler’s numbers – 61 percent completion rate, 7.15 yards per attempt, 10 TDs, six picks – were unremarkable, and he didn’t take the field during the playoffs after a knee injury knocked him out of action in Week 17. Peyton Manning, whose foot injury originally opened the door for Osweiler in November, took the reins back and served as a game manager in all three of the Broncos’ postseason wins, including their 24-10 Super Bowl triumph over Carolina.

As for Manning, he remains undecided about his future. The soon-to-be 40-year-old is a lock to end up in another uniform if he elects to keep playing, as the Broncos have moved on from him, per Renck. The Broncos will make that official when they release the future Hall of Famer sometime before Tuesday. When that happens, the club will free up $19MM of spending space. In addition, the Broncos are considering restructuring the expensive deals of linebacker DeMarcus Ware, offensive tackle Ryan Clady and guard Louis Vasquez, Renck writes. As of now, that trio is set to occupy nearly $29MM in cap next season.

If the Broncos cut Manning and adjust the contracts of Ware, Clady and Vasquez, they’ll give themselves a better chance to keep priority free agents like Osweiler and stellar defensive lineman Malik Jackson. Renck reported Monday that Jackson and the Broncos were roughly $3MM per year apart on contract talks.

Guard Evan Mathis, who’s also unsigned, is contemplating retirement, according to Renck. The Broncos signed the two-time Pro Bowler last summer after the Eagles released him, and he ultimately started in 12 of 16 regular-season appearances. Mathis, 34, earned rave reviews for his performance from Pro Football Focus (subscription required), which ranked him third out of 81 qualifying guards.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.