Just how good is Malik Jackson? Not only is that an important question, but it may be a franchise-defining one.

If the Broncos believe that Jackson is simply a product of the system, succeeding because of the pressure guys like Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware put on the defense around him, then maybe they cut bait. Maybe the let another team give Jackson a giant burlap sack full of money.

If that’s the case, maybe the next man up isn’t that far of a drop-off.

But if the Broncos believe that Jackson is every bit the stud he looks to be out on that field, with or without the players and coordinators around him, then maybe you do just about anything to keep him in Denver, even if that means writing a lottery-sized check.

And if that’s the case, John Elway better have a few millions stashed away that we don’t know about.

If that’s really what Jackson is asking for, then he apparently values himself as not only one of the best defensive ends in the NFL but one of the best defenders, period. According to spotrac.com, that $15 million-a-year average would place him third amongst all defensive ends, only trailing J.J. Watt and Mario Williams, and sixth amongst all defenders.

That’s a lot of money for a guy who doesn’t have a Pro Bowl to his name.

According to Mile High Sports Radio’s own Eric Goodman, though, Jackson could be willing to take a home-town discount.

Well, if Jackson is willing to come down $5 million, then that five-year, $50 million offer Goodman reported the Broncos offered could very well be in the ball park.