Word out of Indianapolis suggests the Denver Broncos plan to make a splash free agent signing to boost their pass rush this year, and Von Miller is unlikely to return. The good news is this class looks like it will be quite strong at edge rusher. One name who is sure to be on the Broncos’ radar is four-time Pro Bowler Chandler Jones.
Weight: 260 pounds
Age: 32 years old
Experience: 10 seasons
Why it makes sense
The Broncos badly need to upgrade their edge rush in both the short and long term. Von Miller finished fourth on the Broncos in pressures despite playing in just seven games in 2021. Bradley Chubb’s been on Injured Reserve during three of his four seasons in the NFL with lower body injuries. Malik Reed is a Restricted Free Agent after his least productive season in the league. There is distinct possibility Chubb and Reed aren’t members of the Broncos after the 2022 season.
Jones would give Ejiro Evero an outside linebacker who has notched 50 or more pressures in five of the last six seasons according to Sports Info Solutions charting. In every season Jones has played 15 or more games he’s finished with 10+ sacks. Additionally he’s proven that he has a knack for forcing fumbles, with six last season and 33 over the course of his career.
Simply put, he’s the top veteran edge rusher who isn’t named Von Miller.
Why it doesn’t make sense
Age and money.
Like Von, Jones landed on Injured Reserve in 2020 and missed some time last year. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise if Jones’ contract demands are right around Miller’s and he wasn’t as productive in 2021. In fact, last year’s sack number could be a bit misleading because he abused Ryan Tannehill to the tune of five sacks in week one and finished the year with 10.5.
There are currently six edge rushers who average in excess of $20 million a year. Jones could certainly join them after he averaged $16.5 million per year on his last contract.
Jones basically brings the same risks Miller does and doesn’t have the added value of familiarity with the team and scheme. If the Broncos are going to back up a Brink’s truck for an older edge rusher to become Evero’s mismatch weapon it’d make more sense to bring back Von.
Should the Broncos chase Chandler Jones in free agency?
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