The Broncos are signing free agent cornerback Adam Jones after working him out Sunday morning, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (Twitter link). Ian Rapoport of NFL.com was the first to tweet Jones was auditioning for Denver and was likely to land with the club.
Jones received a one-year deal for the 10-year veteran minimum ($1.015MM), according to Mike Klis of 9News. The pact likely qualifies for the minimum salary benefit, meaning that while Jone will collect his full salary, the Broncos will only see the minimum for a two-year veteran ($630K) hit their salary cap.
Denver is in the market for a third corner after trading Aqib Talib to the Rams earlier this year. While the Broncos project to start Chris Harris and Bradley Roby in their base defense, Harris tends to move to the slot in nickel packages, so Denver needs a cornerback capable of playing the outside on nearly 75% of its defensive plays. Veteran Tramaine Brock is competing for that role, but Jones would give the Broncos another option.
Jones should be familiar with Denver’s defensive scheme, as Broncos head coach Vance Joseph served as the Bengals’ defensive backs coach from 2014-15, guiding Jones and the rest of Cincinnati’s secondary during that time. With the regular season just around the corner, that level of comfort could prove crucial.
The Bengals declined Jones’ 2018 option earlier this year, and he hasn’t drawn much interest since that time, with a July Browns workout representing his only known visit. Jones, 35 next month, was limited to just nine games with the Bengals in 2017, and didn’t fare particularly well on 299 defensive snaps.
Pro Football Focus assigned Jones the worst mark (47.1) of his entire career, although he performed relatively better in recent years. Aside from his work on defense, Jones can also be a factor in the kicking game, as he’s posted more than 300 combined kick and punt returns during his NFL tenure.
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