A day before the official start of free agency, the best available player already appears to have his next team lined up.
We noted yesterday that former Broncos defensive lineman Malik Jackson could sign with the Jaguars, and today Mike Klis of 9 News in Denver reports that Jackson and the Jaguars are finalizing a deal. Jackson confirmed to Josina Anderson of ESPN that he plans to sign with the Jaguars. PFT has separately confirmed that the Jaguars and Jackson expect to make it official tomorrow.
Although the Jaguars can’t officially sign Jackson until the start of free agency tomorrow, they’re allowed to talk now, and it appears that they’re on the same page.
Jackson is the No. 4 player in our Free Agent Hot 100, and the only player in the Top 10 who hasn’t either already re-signed with his current team or been restricted with a franchise or transition tag.
According to the report, the deal will make Jackson the fourth-highest paid defensive lineman in the NFL.
The Broncos had hoped to keep Jackson, but that was always a long shot, given the other free agents they need to re-sign, including outside linebacker Von Miller and quarterback Brock Osweiler. The Raiders were also believed to be very interested in Jackson’s services, and Jackson’s former coach John Fox also wanted Jackson in Chicago.
But in the end, the Jaguars appear set to land their man. The Broncos’ Super Bowl-winning defense will take a hit, and the Jaguars will get one of the NFL’s best defensive linemen.