Jacksonville Jaguars News: Malik Jackson, Chris Ivory Add To '16 Dark Horse Status [VIDEO]

By Greg Archuleta @GeigaSr
on Mar 09, 2016 02:46 AM EST
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Peyton Manning and the Broncos are so last year's news.

The Jaguars have positioned themselves as Super Bowl dark horse in 2016 with the expected signings of former Broncos defensive end Malik Jackson and former Jets running back Chris Ivory.

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Suddenly, the once laughingstock Jaguars are one of the most intriguing teams in the league entering 2016.

Jackson had 5.5 sacks, 21 quarterback hurries, 16 quarterback hits and seven quarterback hurries last year. For his efforts, the Jaguars will give him $85.5 million over the next six years, with an additional $4.5 million available in incentives his last three years, USA Today Sports reported.

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He will earn $45 million over the next three years with $42 million guaranteed. The Jaguars, who finished 24th in the NFL in total defense and 29th in pass defense, are counting on Jackson to make them formidable on defense.

Ivory adds to an embarrassment of riches to the Jags offense. He surpassed the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in his career last year, amassing 1,070 yards, ESPN reported. He scored seven touchdowns and had 30 receptions, also career highs.

Ivory had just one 100-yard rushing game in the Jets' final 11 contests last season as he struggled through a knee injury. In Jacksonville, he won't have to be the featured back; he'll be a complement to T.J. Yeldon.

The Jaguars are rebuilding by continuing to tear at the fabric of the Broncos. For the third straight season, Jacksonville will have signed a key Broncos player in free agency, according to USA Today Sports.

The Jags signed left guard Zane Beadles off Denver's Super Bowl XLVIII team, although they released him last week after paying him $12 million over two seasons.

Last year, Jacksonville plucked tight end Julius Thomas off the Broncos' offense. Thomas had 46 receptions for 455 yards and five touchdowns after consecutive seasons in Denver where he scored 12 TDs.

Thomas was limited to 12 games because of injuries, but he'll be part of one of the best collections of skill players in the league to surround budding quarterback Blake Bortles.

Wide receivers Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns formed one of the best tandems in the NFL in 2015.

As the Broncos facing life without Peyton Manning, the young Jaguars suddenly could be the next force in the AFC -- especially if Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's four-game suspension for his role in Deflategate is reinstated.

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