"Somewhere late in the regular season, the Denver Broncos made a contract offer to defensive end Malik Jackson.
The team was told, in so many words, the offer would not do. And so contract negotiations were tabled until the Broncos, and Jackson, are through with their season."
General Manager John Elway doesn't typically negotiate with players in-season, or so he says, but he did sign DE Derek Wolfe to a four-year, $36.7 million extension just a few weeks ago. It makes sense that Elway would want to get a jump on getting Jackson locked up.
But obviously there was a point of demarcation between how Jackson and his reps perceive his value and how Elway and the Broncos see it. Some think that Jackson is poised to earn a contract on the open market that would exceed Wolfe's.
Based on grid-iron merit, I don't think Jackson is worth more than Wolfe. But if the Broncos win the Super Bowl and Jackson plays well, the hype will only help his star burn brighter on the open waters of free agency.
We've seen Super Bowl stars cash in big-time in free agency. It'll likely happen again with Jackson. At least he's deserving of it.
“I can make myself a lot more money if I go out there and do what I know how to do and do what I’ve been doing, I can definitely boost myself up," Jackson said Wednesday. "But it’s all about just what I want to do and where I want to be and I love it here, so hopefully we can work something out.”
Under the tutelage of defensive line coach Bill Kollar, Jackson has blossomed into one of the best 3-4 defensive ends in the NFL.
He's known as a pass rusher but he plays the run well, too — albeit in bursts. He's nowhere near as consistent in both phases as Wolfe is, however.
Jackson's biggest hurdle has been his temperment. Too many times over the years he's cost his team yards with personal foul penalties, but it bears mentioning that he's curtailed that penchant this season.
In a perfect world, Jackson would like to stay in Denver. But it doesn't sound like he's as open to giving the Broncos the "hometown discount" as Wolfe and cornerback Chris Harris, Jr. were.
If Super Bowl 50 is to be Jackson's last game as a Bronco, I hope he goes out with gusto and makes some big plays on Cam Newton.
"It’s one of those things that you know what it is," Jackson said. "You have to go out there and be the best player you can because it’s the one chance you have to go out there and do something big for your family and the rest of your life. So for me, I just embrace it, I embrace the challenges every week, I embrace the chance to go out there and a chance to show John Elway that I like it here and that’s why I try to go out there and have good games.”
Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.
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