With free agency still a full day away from officially opening, news is beginning to leak about players agreeing to contracts during the legal tampering period. The Oakland Raiders started the day strong by reportedly agreeing to a huge deal with offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele, but the Jacksonville Jaguars have countered by signing perhaps the top free agent on the market – Denver Broncos defensive tackle Malik Jackson.
Initial reports claimed it was a 6-year deal and it’s now been essentially confirmed by reports from Ian Rapaport and Adam Schefter.
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This is an enormous get for Jacksonville as they head into a make or break year for head coach Gus Bradley and general managerDavid Caldwell
. With the most salary cap space of any team in the NFL, the Jaguars needed to spend big and lure in some premier players on the defensive side of the ball.
Jackson was a terror for the entirety of the 2015 regular season and kicked his game up a notch in the playoffs, playing a substantial role in what was one of the most dominant defensive stretches of postseason football ever. Jackson is a natural fit along the Jacksonville defensive front as a 3-technique and should provide a solid foundation for the interior of the defensive line.
The Jaguars likely aren’t done yet, as they’ve been linked to Mario Williams, Bruce Irvin, and Olivier Vernon. This is just the first big move made by Caldwell and we should expect at least one more big name to be in the running as we head towards the beginning of the league year.