Broncos signing ex-Dolphins safety Brandon Jones as retooled secondary takes shape, AP source says

Mon, Mar 11, 2024
NFL News (AP)

Broncos signing ex-Dolphins safety Brandon Jones as retooled secondary takes shape, AP source says

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - The Denver Broncos on Monday agreed to a three-year deal worth up to $22.5 million with former Miami Dophins safety Brandon Jones, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.

The person also confirmed that kicker Wil Lutz, who converted almost 90% of his field goal attempts last season in his reunion with coach Sean Payton, was re-signing with Denver on a two-year deal.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the Broncos didn't announce the agreements, which will become official Wednesday with the start of the new league year.

The deal with Jones came shortly after the Broncos announced they had re-signed fifth-year safety P.J. Locke to a two-year contract that kept the emerging star off the free agent market.

Locke, who went undrafted out of Texas in 2020, is coming off a breakout season in 2023.

Filling in for the oft-suspended Kareem Jackson, Locke made 53 tackles, 33 of them solo, with three sacks, an interception, five pass breakups and two forced fumbles in a dozen games, including eight starts.

He also became the first safety in club history to get a sack in three consecutive games.

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Like Locke, Jones joined the NFL out of Texas in 2020 when the the Dolphins selected him in the third round.

Jones played in 16 games last season and set career highs with four pass breakups and two interceptions. His 2022 season was cut short by a torn left ACL and he had a slow start last season before finishing strong.

Denver fourth-year safety Caden Sterns, who is coming back from a leg injury that sidelined him last season, also went to Texas. So, the Broncos' secondary should have some measure of familiarity even as it adjusts to the absence of All-Pro Justin Simmons, a salary cap casualty in the aftermath of quarterback Russell Wilson's release.

The Broncos were saddled with a league-record $85 million in dead cap charges by releasing Wilson, who agreed to a one-year deal with Pittsburgh for the veteran minimum of $1.21 million. That leaves Denver on the hook for the remaining $36.79 million in Wilson's salary for 2024.

Also Monday, the Broncos lost Lloyd Cushenberry III to the Tennessee Titans, opening the way for a camp competition at center between Luke Wattenberg and Alex Forsyth. Cushenberry agreed to a four-year, $50 million contract with the Titans.

The Broncos wanted Cushenberry to return but they had already paid top dollar to left guard Ben Powers and right tackle Mike McGlinchey in their free agency spending spree a year ago, and Quinn Meinerz is set to cash in next year after emerging as a standout at right guard.

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ARNIE MELENDREZ STAPLETON Arnie is an NFL writer based in Denver twitter mailto "
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