In our first free agency target that is already a member of the Denver Broncos, we’re going to talk about one of the best interior pass rushers the team has had since Malik Jackson was helping the team win a Super Bowl. Dre’Mont Jones has developed into a solid NFL starter after being drafted in third round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Jones, 26, has been a consistent force along the defensive line with 5.5-6.5 sacks and 10-11 quarterback hits in each of the last three seasons. He was on his way towards his best statistical season in 2022 when an injury in Week 13 knocked him out for the rest of the season.
With Jones slated to become an unrestricted free agent this year, the Broncos will need to work out a long-term deal to bring him back. News broke this week that the team doesn’t like the idea of using the franchise tag on him. The tag deadline is March 7th, so they could change their minds before then if the negotiations do not go quickly enough. This makes sense as the tag is over $19 million for a defensive tackle and while Jones is good, he isn’t that good.
Earlier this week, I asked if fans thought the Broncos should let Jones walk if a long-term deal cannot be reached before the tag deadline. The results were fairly split, but the edge went towards letting him walk in free agency if a deal cannot be reached in time.
Additionally, Jones has to know he could likely command a much higher salary in free agency. Spotrac has Jones in the 4-year, $68 million range, which would give him an average salary at $17.1 million. Even if they got Jones in the $14 million a year range, I’m not entirely sure they should pull the trigger. It’s a tough spot.
Last week, I asked Broncos Country which position group was the biggest need after offensive line. Even with Jones still under contract, most fans believed the defensive line is in need of some major attention.
Where do you stand on the Broncos re-signing Dre’Mont Jones? Let’s discuss in the comments section below.