The Jacksonville Jaguars need to beef up their front four and may not need to wait until free agency nor the draft to add talent if the Philadelphia Eagles release defensive tackle Malik Jackson, who has previously work the Black and Teal.
Bo Wulf of The Athletic believes the ‘Birds’ are going to move on Jackson to get salary cap relief. They are $43 million in the red at the time of writing and his release would free up around $5.6 million in cap room if they cut him with a post-June 1 cut designation.
Jackson signed a three-year $30 million contract with the Eagles in 2019 but missed the season with a Lisfranc injury. He was back on the field last season and registered 28 total tackles (six for a loss), and 2.5 sacks in 15 games last season.
Before playing in the ‘City of Brotherly Love’, Jackson spent three years with the Jaguars, logging 105 total tackles (28 for a loss), 18 sacks, four forced fumbles, and eight passes defensed. Although he may not be the player that registered a career-high eight sacks in 2017, he should still have gas left in the tank.
Why would the Jacksonville Jaguars bring back Malik Jackson?
The ‘Jags’ released Jackson in 2019 even though he still had three seasons left in the six-year $85.5 million contract he signed in 2016. His production dipped in 2018, which might’ve justified the team’s decision to move on from him. Nevertheless, former general manager David Caldwell seemed more interested in hoarding cap space than fielding a competitive team.
A fifth-round selection by the Denver Broncos in 2012, Jackson is no longer the player he was in his prime but he can still be a solid contributor in the right role and at the right price. It’s unlikely he will command $10 million per year once again and if his asking price drops to somewhere around $4 million, the ‘Jags’ should consider bringing him back.
Jackson could join the Jaguars’ defensive line rotation and play on 50 percent of their total snaps on defense, which would keep him fresh. He’s not a premier defensive tackle and wouldn’t have a feature role on the team’s front four but rather a complementary one.