Broncos, Eagles, Lions In Play For Byron Jones

The Cowboys prioritizing Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper over Byron Jones will soon make the cornerback quite the coveted commodity on the market. More potential destinations have emerged.

After the Raiders’ reported interest, Jones will be in the mix for another AFC West team. The Broncos are expected to make a run at Jones, per Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post, with Dan Graziano and Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com noting (ESPN+ link) that the Eagles and Lions join the Broncos as “strong possibilities” for Jones.

Denver outflanks both Detroit and Philadelphia in cap space, sitting in the top 10 at $70MM-plus, and has a major need at corner. Four-time Pro Bowler Chris Harris is a free agent-to-be, and the odds currently lean toward the final holdover from Denver’s Super Bowl champion secondary leaving after nine seasons. The Broncos are a rumored Darius Slay suitor, with Fowler and Graziano adding the team wants to make a strong effort to improve at corner. Beyond Harris, the Broncos struggled throughout 2019 to find capable outside cover men.

Detroit and Philly hold $47MM and $41MM in cap space, respectively. The Lions have far more invested at corner, with Slay in a contract year and Justin Coleman attached to a $9MM-AAV deal. The Eagles have barely $6MM committed to the position in total, with Ronald Darby on track for free agency.

The bidding for Jones will likely escalate to the point the 27-year-old defender exits free agency as the league’s highest-paid corner — perhaps by a substantial margin. The cornerback market has barely budged over the past half-decade; Xavien Howard‘s $15.1MM extension barely topped Josh Norman‘s 2016 deal. Jones, however, is viewed as this market’s top corner, and a deal north of $17MM annually would not be surprising.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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