According to 9NEWS Denver’s Mike Klis, the Denver Broncos “love” defensive lineman Dre’Mont Jones, but do not love the idea of placing the franchise tag on him. Klis states the Broncos are unlikely to place the tag on Jones until the March 7th deadline, but even then, may opt against it because of the high price of the tags.
While franchise tag window opens today, Broncos not expected to consider it with Dre’Mont Jones till March 7 deadline. Even then they may pass in hopes of working out deal by March 13-15 FA opener. Broncos love Dre’Mont. May not love tags of $18.94M DT; $19.73m DE. #9sports— Mike Klis (@mikeklis) February 21, 2023
The price of both versions of the tag push about $19 million dollars and it sounds like the Broncos are not that keen on paying Jones that amount of money.
The Franchise Tag window opened today so all 32 teams are facing the same conundrum when it comes to their top free agents. For the Broncos, the only free agent that they will likely consider this route is Dre’Mont Jones. In the end, they prefer working out a long-term deal with their talented defensive lineman instead of placing the expensive one-year tag on him.
The risk of not placing the tag on Jones is him remaining un-signed entering the tampering period and teams being able to offer more money than the Broncos. This scenario seems likely if the Broncos do not place the tag on Jones because why wouldn’t Jones test the market? If the Broncos are unwilling to secure him with the franchise tag, I do not see Jones accepting a deal until he tests the market.
With that said, if he truly wants to stay with the Broncos, it is possible that the two sides can come to an agreement before the free-agent period opens. We do not know if there is mutual interest there and if Jones will accept a deal before seeing what he can get on the market. As fans, we always want the “hometown discount” but that is not always the case when it comes to free agents.
Jones has been a consistent contributor for the Broncos along their defensive line. This past season, he totaled 42 tackles and 6.5 sacks in 13 games for the Broncos' defense. In his four seasons with the teams, he has totaled 124 tackles, 22 sacks, 6 pass deflections, and 2 career interceptions.
Outside of Dre’Mont Jones, the Broncos lack consistent pass rushers from their defensive line. Nose tackle D.J. Jones is a solid run defender but does not have the pass-rushing chops that Dre’Mont has. So, losing Dre’Mont would open a pretty big hole on the Broncos defense. When you’re in a division that has Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert, you need to have as many pass rushers as possible on your defense.
With all that said, Dre’Mont has not been an elite player at his position and may not be worthy of the high-priced tag. So, that is the issue currently facing the Broncos' front office. Do you tag a player you cannot afford to lose while paying more than you want to or do you risk him testing the market while you hope to get a long-term deal done?
Do you think the Broncos should place the franchise tag on Dre’Mont Jones?
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