Malik Jackson is proud to admit the obvious reason for joining the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency: He did it all for the money.
Mike DiRocco wrote a column highlighting this fact Wednesday morning for ESPN in which he said Jackson’s admission is refreshing, and it’s likely many feel the same way (this scribe does).
Here’s what Jackson said about his decision to take much more money to leave the Denver Broncos to play for the Jaguars for the next six years:
“You definitely have some guys talk to you that say, ‘I took this pay cut to stay here and I did this here to stay here,'” Jackson said. “It’s one of those things where I think we all have different priorities. My priority is to take care of my daughter and my family. I came into this league by myself and I’ll leave by myself.
“I love the Broncos for helping me out but it’s a business and that’s how I feel about it. I think a lot of guys say, ‘Stay here. We can do this. We can do that.’ My mindset is to take care of my family and go out here and help teams get better.”
Of course, taking the money and running might be an easier prospect for a player who just did win a Super Bowl with the Broncos. Other guys who have taken less money aren’t in the same situation.
However, in this day and age where it’s becoming increasingly clear that players should get what they can when they can before their bodies and minds become scarred for life, Jackson did the right thing.
We’re seeing more players retire by choice before the age of 30 than ever before. After decades of examples of what kind of life exists for former players who sacrificed their bodies to ill effect for far less money, players are wising up.
If Jackson, a very talented defensive lineman who has remained healthy thus far, can dominate for seven to 10 years and rake in the cash while keeping his mind and body from experiencing irreparable damage, then he should take advantage of his opportunities wherever they lie.