How much is bringing back Dre’Mont Jones for 2023 worth to the Broncos?


Kiz: The Broncos shut down Arizona and third-string quarterback Trace McSorley without injured defensive end Dre’Mont Jones on the field. At one point in this season, you could make the case for Jones as Denver’s best defensive player. But he’s now stuck on 6.5 sacks and out for the remainder of the season with a hip injury. As an impending free agent, how essential is it for the Broncos to retain Jones?

Gabriel: In terms of the 17 players Denver has that are set to be unrestricted free agents after this season, the list starts with Jones. General manager George Paton essentially said as much at the trade deadline when he named the defensive lineman as a priority and called him a “core player” after trading outside linebacker Bradley Chubb to Miami. There aren’t a lot of defensive interior players that have the kind of athleticism Jones, the fourth-year man out of Ohio State, possesses, which is why he’s likely to make a lot of money one way or another this winter.

Kiz: It’s always all about the Benjamins in the NFL. Jones can be a force in the middle of the defensive line against the run and pass, but he’s not the game-wrecker that Aaron Donald can be. During the course of four pro seasons, Jones has recorded 22 sacks. Until getting injured, this appeared to be the breakout year that would get him handsomely paid. But I’m thinking a fair deal salary for him is no more than $12.5 million per season. Do you think Jones disagrees?

Gabriel: Oh yeah, Kiz, I think he probably disagrees. Glancing at the Over the Cap list of interior defensive linemen, $12.5 million per season would put Jones, who turns 26 in January, between Philadelphia’s Javon Hargrave (29 years old, $13 million per year) and Minnesota’s Dalvin Tomlinson (28, $10.5 million per year) based on average annual value. That’s in the top 15 among interior defensive linemen but not in the top 10.  You’re talking $18 million a year to get into the top five and $15 million a year to crack the top 10. And, of course, a multi-year commitment with a big signing bonus to help manage the cap. How does that sound to you?


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