UPDATE: The Broncos have agreed to a trade for Jaguars cornerback, A.J. Bouye. This trade likely takes them out of the Byron Jones sweepstakes.
According to ESPN’s Dan Graziano and Jeremy Fowler in their insider piece on ESPN.com, the Denver Broncos are among the three teams who are strong possibilities for cornerback Byron Jones in free agency.
Here is their full expert on the matter from their insiders piece.
Cornerbacks set to break the bank?
We’re expecting a big payday for free-agent cornerback Byron Jones, who probably is priced out of the Cowboys’ plans at $17 million per year. We heard the Eagles, Broncos and Lions as strong possibilities for Jones.
The Broncos, we’re told, are trying to beef up big at cornerback, as they’re also a possible trade partner with the Lions for Darius Slay; it should be noted that the Broncos could be losing All-Pro slot corner Chris Harris Jr. to free agency. Recently released former Bears cornerback Prince Amukamara could make sense as a cheaper option for Denver, given his connection with former Bears defensive coordinator and current Broncos head coach Vic Fangio.
We also heard free-agent cornerback James Bradberry was looking for a deal close to $15 million per year. Many expect him to reunite with former Carolina coach Ron Rivera in Washington.
The Byron Jones rumblings have been going on for quite awhile now and it does make sense for the Broncos to make a run at him during free agency. First, they’re going to lose their soon to be former number one corner Chris Harris Jr. to free agency leaving an opening for that spot on the depth. Second, the Broncos could have upwards of $80 million dollars of cap space to use this offseason and have a small window to use it with Drew Lock’s rookie contract giving them flexibility. Finally, we have the scheme fit and Patrick Mahomes. Jones is a bigger physical corner who would fit nicely into Fangio’s scheme and his talent and services are needed because the Broncos will face Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs twice a year. So a strong secondary to try to lockdown the Chiefs explosive weapons in almost mandatory now if you want to compete for that AFC West division title.
Jones will not come cheap and may end up being the highest paid corner in the NFL when it is all said and done, but it’s something they have to do. Add in the Broncos tagging and/or re-signing of Justin Simmons and you have a lot of cheddar being spent on your secondary.
The one knock on Byron Jones is a lack of forced turnovers, but only Casey Hayward was thrown at on a lower % of coverage snaps among 87 CBs, via PFF.— Pat Thorman (@Pat_Thorman) January 23, 2020
Jones was targeted about as often as Richard Sherman. #Cowboys will miss that a hell of a lot more than if they’d let Zeke walk. https://t.co/CpoNzIvDzs
Now, the story does mention a possible Darius Slay trade. I personally feel like this is their “Plan B” if they cannot land Jones during free agency. He’ll unfortunately cost the Broncos a pick AND a big deal so hopefully they can avoid giving up a draft pick and just get Jones. This piece also mentions the possibility of Prince Amukamara signing with the Broncos. Honestly, I think this happens even if they sign Jones or trade for Slay. It makes too much sense not to do. Much like the Broncos signing Bryce Callahan last offseason. A secondary of Jones/Slay, Amukamara, and a healthy Bryce Callahan with Simmons and Jackson at safety would give tem a chance against Mahomes and the Chiefs offense.
Broncos General Manager John Elway has money to spend this offseason and I think he is going to make the secondary and defense as a whole a priority during free agency. So we should be in for an exciting free agency period where we’ll see a number of talented players added to this roster.
Do you want the Broncos to pay cornerback Byron Jones $17 million or more during free agency?
This poll is closed