Before the season started, I named Dre’Mont Jones as the Denver Broncos’ Breakout Player of the Year. Jones was a talented prospect coming out of that 2019 NFL Draft, and many analysts thought he could have been a first-round pick with his gifts. He took several steps forward in 2020 that had me excited about his future.
Lo and behold, he’s making me look smarter and smarter every week. He’s continued to get better as time goes on, and oftentimes, he’s Denver’s only pass-rusher. For an interior rusher who has been double-teamed on well over half of his reps, he’s routinely disruptive and has strung together big play after big play throughout every game.
He’s been Denver’s best defender in the front-seven pretty handily in my eyes, and he more than cemented that feeling against a pretty good Detroit Lions offensive line. With no Von Miller, Dre’Mont Jones has been the most consistent pass-rusher on the team week in and week out. As an interior lineman.
Back-to-back plays that sum up most of Dre'Mont Jones's day vs Detroit pic.twitter.com/zBFIglFDPP— AJ Schulte (@AJDraftScout) December 15, 2021
Per the wonderful folks over at Pro Football Focus, Jones is tied for 7th place in pass-rush win rate at 15.7% and tied with Arik Armstead in 11th place in total pressures with 36. Pretty impressive placements for Jones as a pass-rusher without a ton of help around him. He’s continuing to grow his pass-rush toolbox as well, and he still has room to grow technically. A scary thought.
Jones also has shown an ability to be a very-disruptive run defender as well. Jones is 20th in run defense from PFF as well, and it’s reps like this one that explain why. There are a few reps where he can get overwhelmed at the point of attack, but then he makes up for it with reps like this.
I'd buy an NFT of this rep from Dre'Mont Jones pic.twitter.com/pv3LJPzIYU— AJ Schulte (@AJDraftScout) October 1, 2021
With one more year left on his deal, Denver can get ahead of the curve and offer him a well-deserved extension before the price goes up. With the cap increasing in 2022, it would behoove Denver to go ahead and lock Dre’Mont Jones up for a long-term deal-much like they’ve already done for Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick.
I spoke to PFF’s Salary Cap Analyst, Brad Spielberger, about what a potential Dre’Mont Jones extension would look like. Here’s what he had to say:
I know I’ve always been high on him personally so maybe that’s adding a bit in my mind. Strong and quick enough to play 3, 4i, 5-tech. Gotten better every year, so if you extend early you’re paying a bit for a projection. Because he’s a third-rounder he’s in no rush to sign early if the offer isn’t strong, different leverage than a later pick or UDFA etc. And he’ll be just 25 in 2022. I’d guess $11-$14M per year range
An $11-14M APY would put him in a similar range to players like Stephon Tuitt, Javon Hargrave, JJ Watt, and DJ Reader. I’d imagine Jones would command a similar number total to DJ Reader, who inked a 4-year deal with the Bengals at 26 years old.
Reader’s deal was 4 years, $53 million with $20.25M guaranteed. That’s $13.25M a year, and I’d imagine that’s roughly the going rate for players like Dre’Mont Jones. Jones will probably end up north of that APY number by the time his deal gets done, barring him taking an unexpected discount or an injury.
These numbers might seem a little jarring at first glance. With the cap skyrocketing the way it is however, this might end up on the cheap side of things. Keep in mind, other defensive linemen from his draft class will start to get paydays soon. Quinnen Williams, Ed Oliver, Dexter Lawrence, Jeffrey Simmons, and even other defensive tackles from the 2018 class like Sebastian Joseph-Day will be looking for extensions as well.
As expected, the NFL informed clubs the 2022 salary cap is projected to be $208.2 million, per source.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) December 14, 2021
The price tag on Jones will end up going higher and higher as time goes on. George Paton already got fantastic team-friendly deals done with Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick. Dre’Mont Jones should be next in line for a big pay day from the Broncos front office.