Report: Broncos Poised to Make Cowboys' CB Byron Jones 'Top Target' in Free Agency

Chad Jensen

The Denver Broncos are facing an exodus with free agency approaching. Multiple starters, especially on the defensive side of the ball, are poised to hit unrestricted free agency. 

The Broncos will have to decide which homegrown vets to keep and which to cut loose, but it's entirely possible four-time Pro Bowl CB Chris Harris, Jr. could be among the departures. Even if Harris is re-signed, the Broncos will still have depth concerns at cornerback because of Bryce Callahan's troubled injury history and the lack of proven talent behind him. 

Signing another outside corner could help mitigate those depth concerns and provide the Broncos with a bonafide pairing at the position. Thanks to a recent report by 104.3 The Fan's Cecil Lammey, a well-respected radio host in Denver with long-standing ties throughout the NFL scouting community, that outside corner could be none other than Byron Jones. 

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Jones was drafted late in the first round by the Dallas Cowboys back in 2015. He has five NFL seasons under his belt and earned Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro honors in 2018. 

He's long (6-foot-1) and plays an extremely physical brand of football. Vic Fangio's mandate about defensive backs tackling wouldn't be an issue for Jones. Scheme-wise, thanks to Jones' ability to diagnose the play and his explosive click-and-close, he could thrive in Fangio's defense. 

Jones is also a versatile corner who can line up and play just about anywhere in the defensive backfield, although he's spent the last two seasons strictly outside the numbers at corner. The only real question about his NFL resume is the lack of ball production. 

Jones has just two career interceptions and he's started 73 games. That's a concern. But it's it not a deal-breaker. It could simply be NFL QBs avoiding him in coverage, but it could also be that he's just not a very instinctual ballhawk.

After all, Champ Bailey was avoided for a decade by NFL QBs but he still had the knack for producing big interception numbers. The other fly in the ointment with regard to Jones is that he'll cost top dollar. 

Spotrac currently projects Harris, Jr.'s value at $11.125 million per year. Harris is 30, turning 31 in June. If he was three years younger, which would make him the same age as Jones, he'd command $15M per year. 

Jones is likely to cost $12-15M/year. The Broncos will have north of $60M in cap space, which leaves plenty of room to get a free agent like Jones locked down, if that's indeed the direction the team wants to go. 

Dallas will be focused on getting Dak Prescott's contract figured out, which will be followed by WR Amari Cooper. Jones will be a distant third in that pecking order, which means he'll be ripe for the picking. 

That is, if GM John Elway wants to pony up, pardon the pun. 

Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen and @MileHighHuddle.

Comments (14)
No. 1-8
Denverkewl
Denverkewl

I think I've had enough of CHJs attitude and mouthing off for a guy who was given a $3mm gift and whose play cost us games and can't be sold for top CB $. He spat on Elway when they offered an extension. Did he counter? He won't say - why> coz he wants FA. YA know Champ never behaved like this. $12 mm was a fair offer plain and simple. I think many media types give him a pass thinking of him as the old CHJ. He's blaming everybody trying cover up for his tape in a contract year. Fine. We'll pay a younger guy who will be happy to be here and make the damn plays as well. CHJ hasn't really taken responsibility for squat that I can recall. Ya know if Elway had signed him last off season and then he put of the tape he did, what would we be sayin?

Brew77
Brew77

I’m not sold on Byron Jones while he might be the top CB on the FA market I’m hearing he is wanting more like 16 to 18 million a year. It’s one of the main reasons the Cowboys haven’t resigned him they have abundant cap space and if he was asking for 12 they would have locked him up by now. Jones is by far their best corner and them supposedly letting him walk makes no sense other than the fact he is just asking for too much on a contract. There are going to be other options out there and won’t break the bank guys like Prince Akumara who already flourished in Fangio’s defense a guy like A.J. Bouye who sounds like he’ll be a cap casualty. Spending so much on Jones only limits what you can do in other areas and with so many holes to fill you don’t need to overspend on Jones.

BleedingBroncoOrange
BleedingBroncoOrange

IDL Chris Jones of Chiefs would be a much better way to spend the big bucks if you could some how pick that fish off, and he would make all your Corners better whether they cost 9 mill or 15 mill.

Sinceiwasalilboy
Sinceiwasalilboy

Denver has a recent history of having one guy who is talented and young, CHJ being the last of that line. Denver has to go even younger here, especially with no other solid players to follow.

CUBuffinTX
CUBuffinTX

Heard this on Dallas sports talk radio,... there have been almost 200 different players with one interception since Byron Jones had his last one (I think the number was 178 but not sure) not 1 pick off of a tip or deflection at the line of scrimmage. Nah to much cash not enough bang for the buck.

RickyBobby_0815
RickyBobby_0815

Don't know much about Jones except he's 27 and a great fit for Fangio's D. With all the money Denver has I would rather see them sign their own players such as McGovern and Parks. I do think if they are going to make a splash in FA I would like to see it for only player and hope that's CB.
Teams in the past that have spent in FA creating a "Dream Team" don't usually have success the following season. With that being said, Denver NEEDS a CB1 especially with Callahan and Bausby getting hurt last year and Yiadom not being overly impressive. Let them pay up for Jones for the next 4-5 years to solidify the backfield and and then sign tier 2 players - Sholbert (LB) from Cleveland or Reader (DT) from Houston.

broncofan55555
broncofan55555

Totally agree here. If the Broncos are going to acquire a JONES from FA, let it be Chris Jones. The guy was a monster in the Super Bowl.


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