Josey Jewell

LB Josey Jewell To Join Panthers

TODAY, 11:50am: Jewell’s three-year deal will officially be listed as an $18.75MM contract, per Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 in Houston. Of that total, $8.125MM is guaranteed, a significant jump on the previously reported $7MM in guarantees. Jewell also earned a $7MM signing bonus.

Jewell will have base salaries of $1.125MM in 2024 (guaranteed), $4.235MM in 2025 ($2MM guaranteed), and $4.55MM in 2026. The linebacker can earn $2MM via annual playing time and playoff escalators, and he’ll have per-game roster bonuses of $45K in 2025 and $50K in 2026.

MARCH 12, 4:00pm: Seeing players on all three defensive levels depart since the legal tampering period began, the Panthers will add a scheme-familiar player for Ejiro Evero in the aftermath of those exits.

Josey Jewell is signing with the Panthers,’s Ian Rapoport tweets. A six-year Bronco who worked as a starter for much of that tenure, Jewell played under Evero during the 2022 season. While the Broncos held discussions with Jewell about a third contract, Sean Payton‘s team will move on.

The Panthers are giving Jewell a three-year deal worth more than $22MM, according to the Denver Post’s Troy Renck. Of that total, more than $7MM is guaranteed. Jewell will be tied to a $22.5MM deal in total, with The Athletic’s Jeff Howe adding $10MM is guaranteed.

The Broncos discussed terms with Jewell’s camp at the Combine, and the Denver Gazette’s Chris Tomasson indicates the team did not give up on a re-signing until the end. But with the Broncos cutting costs, Jewell will join center Lloyd Cushenberry in leaving Colorado. This was the expectation in Denver, which has been much quieter on this year’s market compared to Payton’s first year running the show.

Denver used Jewell and Alex Singleton as its off-ball linebacker starters over the past two seasons; both were attached to veteran deals in 2023, with Jewell at $5.5MM. The AFC West team, in light of the Russell Wilson development, may be aiming to scale back. The Panthers, conversely, are building around a rookie quarterback. That will help Jewell secure more in guarantees compared to his 2022 Denver pact and a raise in AAV.

Jewell played well under Evero and Vance Joseph over the past two seasons, combining for 236 tackles and 5.5 sacks. The former fourth-round pick added four forced fumbles in that span, intercepting two passes and notching seven tackles for loss under Evero in 2022. Pro Football Focus graded Jewell 40th among LBs last season but 27th under Evero two years ago.

The Panthers moved on from Frankie Luvu, seeing him join Jeremy Chinn by committing to the Commanders. Shaq Thompson remains on the Panthers, but the veteran is coming off a season an injury cut short after two games. Plenty will be expected of Jewell, who will turn 30 before season’s end.

AFC West Notes: Broncos, Chiefs, Eluemunor

Coming off their Russell Wilson misstep, the Broncos will be taking on a chunk of their record-setting dead money ($35.4MM) this year. The more punishing hit will come in 2025 ($49.6MM), and although both numbers will be offset to a degree by the cap’s rise, Denver may need to be thriftier at quarterback. Mock drafts continue to include a Broncos QB pick or a trade-up move for a passer, but 9News’ Mike Klis writes a veteran will likely be added in free agency.

Kirk Cousins and Baker Mayfield are probably out of play for the Broncos, who are still $2.5MM over the cap following their Justin Simmons release. But after other cost-saving moves, the team will have a host of bridge options available. Jacoby Brissett, Ryan Tannehill, Gardner Minshew and Sam Darnold headline that list, and the volume of passers in free agency should lead to affordable options for teams looking to pair a rookie with a stopgap vet. The Broncos do have Jarrett Stidham tied to a $7MM base salary, and they plan to give him a chance. But it is possible two outside options will be joining the season-ending starter this offseason.

Here is the latest from the AFC West:

  • Chris Jones remains the Chiefs‘ top priority, but after rumblings the defending champions could retain the likely Hall of Famer before free agency, they are running short on time. Other clubs can begin talking to Jones at 11am CT March 11. Seeking at least $30MM per year, Jones remains Kansas City’s top priority. Some uncertainty exists if the Chiefs’ the near-year-long retention effort will succeed, but the Washington Post’s Jason La Canfora indicates the team is expected to devote more funds to its offense. After a wildly inconsistent receiver year, the Chiefs were believed to be interested in Mike Evans. Calvin Ridley, Marquise Brown and Gabe Davis are among the top options available, though it should also be expected the team — particularly if Jones is back on a monster contract — devotes a high draft choice to this group.
  • The Raiders appear to want to re-sign right tackle Jermaine Eluemunor, per ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez, who notes the team’s stopgap right tackle starter might be the highest priority among the team’s free agent O-linemen. That would be interesting given Andre James‘ presence as a younger UFA-to-be. Eluemunor joins James and guard Greg Van Roten as Raiders starting O-linemen set for free agency. Eluemunor has signed three Raiders contracts, receiving a notable raise (to $3MM) in 2023. Showing himself to be a capable starter instead of a swingman, the 29-year-old blocker has started 34 games for the Raiders — at both guard and right tackle — over the past three seasons.
  • Releasing their longest-tenured player earlier today, the Broncos will need to make a plan at safety. As Simmons searches for a new team, the Broncos also have P.J. Locke as an unsigned starter. The team is interested in keeping Locke, according to the Denver Gazette’s Chris Tomasson. Locke replaced the twice-suspended Kareem Jackson as a starter and played well during the team’s five-game midseason win streak, holding off Jackson for the gig alongside Simmons. Caden Sterns, who suffered a season-ending injury in Week 1, remains under contract.
  • While Locke should be expected to return, Klis does not anticipate Lloyd Cushenberry or Josey Jewell coming back. Cushenberry’s likely high price should be viewed as a borderline non-starter for a Broncos team that has three other veterans (Garett Bolles, Ben Powers, Mike McGlinchey) on veteran contracts and Quinn Meinerz as a potential extension candidate. Jewell, who joined Simmons as a holdover from Vance Joseph‘s HC years, discussed terms with the Broncos recently. But the six-year vet may be ticketed to leave Colorado as the team regroups after its failed Wilson extension.
  • The sports betting criminal case in Iowa against the former Denver fourth-round defensive lineman Eyioma Uwazurike will be dropped, Tomasson adds. A rotational player in 2021, Uwazurike drew a full-season ban for gambling on NFL games. Uwazurike’s NFL future is in doubt, but he can apply for reinstatement in July.

Broncos, LB Josey Jewell To Discuss Deal

Lloyd Cushenberry probably profiles as the Broncos’ top UFA-to-be, but multiple starting defenders are weeks from free agency as well. One of the team’s defensive regulars is on the radar to stay.

Although Josey Jewell arrived back in 2018, he is more closely connected to the current Denver regime than many of his teammates. Jewell and Justin Simmons were present when Vance Joseph was in place as head coach. With Joseph back as DC, the two cogs brought in to play in his system have maintained value. Denver has Simmons under contract, and the team is also interested in another Jewell deal.

The Broncos are expected to meet with Jewell’s camp at the Combine, according to 9News’ Mike Klis. Jewell played out a two-year, $11MM deal this past season, working as a regular starter alongside Alex Singleton. Jewell, Simmons and Courtland Sutton are the only players remaining from Joseph’s HC stay. The Combine runs from Feb. 26-March 4. The Broncos retain exclusive negotiating rights with Jewell until the legal tampering period starts March 11.

[RELATED: Broncos Likely To Adjust Justin Simmons’ Deal]

Denver has received solid play from its linebackers since the Jewell-Singleton tandem formed in 2022. Pro Football Focus has viewed Jewell as more consistent than Singleton, despite the latter’s whopping tackle count. Jewell delivered a versatile season to help the Broncos’ defense rally after a woeful start, totaling 108 tackles, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. PFF slotted Jewell just outside the top 40, rating Singleton — whose 177 tackles were the seventh-most any player has accumulated in a season during the 21st century — outside the top 55. Singleton is tied to a three-year, $18MM deal.

Taking advantage of what has become a modest market at ILB, the Broncos had Jewell and Singleton on manageable contracts last season. Given the volume of linebackers who signed contracts worth between $5-$8MM per year in 2023, it would surprise if Jewell, 29, commanded a far more lucrative pact this time around. The former fourth-round pick should still have some value as a dependable starter.

As the Broncos moved on from mainstays Brandon Marshall and Alexander Johnson during Jewell’s run, they have kept the Iowa alum as a starter. Denver drafted Drew Sanders in the 2023 third round, identifying him as a hybrid player also capable of edge support, so it will be interesting to see how serious the team is about retaining Jewell. The Broncos also have nose tackle Mike Purcell and safety P.J. Locke, who emerged as a productive starter during his contract year, headed for free agency.

Sean Payton was obviously not averse to restructuring deals to create cap space in New Orleans; his new team will probably head down that path soon. The Broncos are more than $24MM over the projected 2024 cap; they will not gain any space by cutting Russell Wilson, with his $35.4MM base salary already guaranteed.

On the contract front,’s Jeff Legwold adds $2MM of Sutton’s 2024 base ($13MM) becomes guaranteed on March 17. This gives the Broncos a window to look into a move.

While the 28-year-old wide receiver was by far the team’s most productive pass catcher last season, his through-2025 contract is currently nonguaranteed. Jerry Jeudy‘s $12.99MM fifth-year option, conversely, is fully guaranteed. Rumored to be considering moving one of their top two wideouts, the Broncos also have Tim Patrick‘s $10MM-per-year deal as a tool to create cap room. Patrick, who has missed the past two seasons due to injury, is due a nonguaranteed $9.5MM base salary this year.

Broncos Eyeing Patrick Surtain Extension, Unlikely To Spend Big In Free Agency

Although Patrick Surtain did not repeat his first-team All-Pro performance from 2022, the standout Broncos cornerback earned his second Pro Bowl nod. As expected, the Broncos kept Surtain out of trades at the deadline. The next step — once Surtain’s fifth-year option is exercised — would be an extension.

The Broncos sound interested in that coming to fruition at some point, with GM George Paton indicating (via the Denver Post’s Parker Gabriel) the team wants the third-year corner in Denver for a long time. Surtain became extension-eligible last week, though the fifth-year option buys the Broncos another year.

The cornerback salary ceiling still sits at $21MM (Jaire Alexander), but with the cap back on a steady climb and young corners like Surtain and Sauce Gardner immediately establishing themselves as top-tier talents, $25MM per year is probably a better projection for where the top CB salary will be by the time these two land extensions. Gardner does not become eligible for a new deal until 2025, but Surtain has become the Broncos’ defensive centerpiece.

Teams generally wait until Year 5 to extend first-rounders, due to the option, but the Broncos are in an atypical situation. Their expected Russell Wilson post-June 1 cut designation will produce a larger cap hit in 2025 compared to 2024, with the total package coming to $84.6MM in dead cap. That record-shattering figure will complicate matters for the Broncos, who will have Surtain undoubtedly eyeing CB-record money when talks begin.

The Broncos extended Chris Harris and signed Aqib Talib, but their last brush with top-tier CB money came when they extended Champ Bailey after acquiring him 20 years ago. Surtain is closer to Bailey’s trajectory compared to Denver’s recent CB All-Pros, pointing to a monster extension either this year or next. Denver would also have the franchise tag at its disposal in 2026, when the Wilson contractual damage is projected to be finished.

As for this year, the Broncos are not expected to be big spenders. After splurging for Mike McGlinchey, Ben Powers and Zach Allen on Day 1 of the 2023 legal tampering period, Denver will be restricted by both the Wilson contract — which would call for $35MM in 2024 dead money — and its limited cap space. Paton said (via the Denver Gazette’s Chris Tomasson) the team will not be in on the first wave of free agency come March. The team currently features the NFL’s fifth-worst 2024 cap situation, though it is poised to enter the draft with a first-round pick for the first time since 2021, when Surtain arrived at No. 9 overall. The Broncos hold the No. 12 pick.

Additionally, free agents-to-be Josey Jewell and P.J. Locke would prefer to stay in Denver, Tomasson adds. Jewell played out a two-year, $11MM deal and has now started 58 games since being chosen in the 2018 second round. Locke ended up usurping Kareem Jackson to become a starting safety, making an impact as a blitzer during Denver’s five-game win streak. Jewell and Locke, a former UDFA, could see their statuses complicated by other contracts at their respective positions. Justin Simmons is attached to a $15.25MM-per-year deal, though that through-2024 pact contains no more guaranteed money, while Denver gave top tackler Alex Singleton a three-year accord worth $18MM in 2023.

The Broncos stood pat at the trade deadline, but Jewell’s name may have come up. The Cowboys targeted linebacking help last October, and’s Ed Werder notes they discussed a deal with the Broncos. It is not known if Jewell or Singleton was Dallas’ target, though the former was in a contract year. The Cowboys later pursued Shaquille Leonard, seeing him sign with the Eagles. Jewell and Singleton have been the Broncos’ ILB starters for two seasons.

Eagles Eyeing LB Addition?

The Eagles have already pulled off a pair of trades in the build-up to today’s deadline, but more could be coming from general manager Howie Roseman. Philadelphia has been active in gauging the market with a particular interest in linebacker help, Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated notes.

That falls in line with reporting from the weekend which indicated the Eagles were on the lookout for help at the ILB spot. The reigning NFC champions lost both T.J. Edwards and Kyzir White in free agency as part of their defensive exodus, leading to questions about both starter-level replacements and depth behind them. Philadelphia has relied primarily on Zach Cunningham, Nicholas Morrow and Nakobe Dean at the second level so far this season.

That trio has helped the Eagles post the league’s best run defense in 2023, a feat which of course is also a product of their stout defensive line. The latter unit lost a depth member yesterday when Kentavius Street was dealt to the Falcons, a much less signficant move than Philadelphia’s earlier addition of safety Kevin Byard to give a needed boost to the secondary. Adding a veteran linebacker to the mix would further aid what the NFC East leaders hope will be another deep postseason run.

Breer names Jordan Hicks (Vikings) and Josey Jewell (Broncos) as potential targets. Both players have been mentioned as trade candidates, given their statuses as rentals and their respective teams’ presumed stance as sellers at the deadline. Hicks in particular has been on the radar of contending teams for some time now, and his $3.25MM base salary checks in at a slightly lower rate than that of Jewell (although both Minnesota and Denver could retain portions of those figures, which would be prorated for an acquiring team).

The Eagles entered today with $3.38MM in cap space, enough to make a low-cost addition at the linebacker spot or another position of interest. Given Roseman’s propensity to make moves at areas of perceived need, it would come as no surprise if a trade were to be hammered out in the coming hours.

Broncos CB Ronald Darby Out For Season

The fallout from the Broncos’ ugly Week 5 loss continues. After leaving the Colts matchup early, Ronald Darby will not be back for his team this season. The veteran cornerback suffered an ACL tear, Nathaniel Hackett confirmed Friday.

This news comes hours after word of Garett Bolles‘ broken leg. The Broncos are closing the door on their left tackle playing again this season as well. Bolles will not come back from the lower-leg fracture he sustained late in Thursday night’s game. Considering the injuries the team has already encountered, this is becoming quite the toll for a squad amid a rocky start.

Part of Denver’s 2021 secondary overhaul, Darby joined the team as a midlevel free agent. The former Bills, Eagles and Washington corner signed a three-year, $30MM deal with the Broncos in March 2021. He joined Kyle Fuller and Pat Surtain II as new corner investments in Denver last year. Darby and Surtain have operated as the Broncos’ starting outside corners this season. The former will soon join Justin Simmons and Randy Gregory as Denver defensive starters on IR. While the latter two will be back, Darby being shut down will test the Broncos’ Surtain-fronted cornerback corps.

Injuries have been a problem for Darby throughout his career. Most notably, he suffered an ACL tear during his second Eagles season (2018). Darby’s Eagles tenure started off on the wrong foot as well; he dislocated an ankle in September 2017. While Darby re-emerged to be part of Philadelphia’s Super Bowl-winning defense, his 2018 ACL tear affected his free agency value. He settled for a one-year, $6.5MM accord in 2019 and then signed a one-year, $3MM deal with Washington in 2020. Darby, who did not miss a game in 2020, scored $19.5MM guaranteed from the Broncos last year.

Darby, 28, will end his second Broncos season with 18 combined games missed. He battled hamstring trouble last season but started the 11 games he played. The former Bills second-rounder was faring well to start this season, helping a stout Broncos defense minimize opposing offenses (while Denver’s offense scuffles through a rough acclimation period). But this injury will cloud Darby’s future with the team.

The Broncos can save $10MM by releasing Darby in 2023, when he is set to count $13MM toward their cap. The team will likely get an extensive look at rookie Damarri Mathis, who replaced Darby against the Colts. A fourth-round pick out of Pittsburgh, Mathis moved into position as the Broncos’ top backup corner after third-year player Michael Ojemudia suffered a preseason injury. Ojemudia, who missed most of 2021 with a hamstring ailment, remains on IR.

As of Friday, the following Broncos starters are on IR or have missed multiple games: Darby, Bolles, safety Justin Simmons, running back Javonte Williams, outside linebacker Randy Gregory and right guard Quinn Meinerz. Both members of Denver’s would-be right tackle competition — Tom Compton, Billy Turner — have not played yet this season, either. Hackett said Josey Jewell, who missed time earlier this season, is now week-to-week with a knee injury as well. Thursday’s round of setbacks will make the Broncos’ uphill battle steeper.

Contract Details: Winston, Ward, Fournette, Conklin, Jones, Jewell, Vander Esch

Here are the latest details from recently agreed-upon contracts around the NFL:

  • Charvarius Ward, CB (49ers): Three years, $40.5MM. Of Ward’s $26.7MM in guarantees, $12MM comes via a signing bonus, Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus tweets. The 49ers will keep Ward’s initial cap hit low, with his 2022 figure checking in at $3.8MM. That spikes to $16.3MM in 2023. Two void years are included in Ward’s deal, giving the 49ers a cap charge of $4.81MM in 2025.
  • Jameis Winston, QB (Saints): Two years, $28MM. Winston received a $14MM signing bonus and has a $1.2MM fully guaranteed 2022 base salary, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes. $5.8MM of Winston’s $12.8MM 2023 base salary is presently guaranteed for injury; it will become fully guaranteed on Day 3 of the 2023 league year. Winston can earn up to $16MM in incentives, $8MM in each year, through team accomplishments — as long as Winston is the Saints’ primary starter — and participation rate.
  • Leonard Fournette, RB (Buccaneers): Three years, $21MM. Along with a $4.5MM signing bonus, the Bucs fully guaranteed Fournette’s 2022 base salary ($2MM) and $2MM of his $6.5MM 2023 base, Florio notes. Another $2MM of that amount turns from an injury guarantee to a full guarantee next year. Fournette’s $6.5MM 2024 base is nonguaranteed. Among the deal’s $1.5MM in incentives, which only cover 2023 and 2024, Fournette can collect $250K for finishing a season in the top 15 in rushing yards and $500K for a top-10 rushing finish.
  • Tyler Conklin, TE (Jets): Three years, $20.25MM. The Jets are guaranteeing Conklin $10MM, including $3.9MM of his 2023 base salary. Conklin’s cap hits go $3.4MM, $8.4MM, $8.4MM from 2022-24, Spielberger tweets.
  • Ben Jones, C (Titans): Two years, $14MM. Jones will see $8MM guaranteed, which comes via $6.88MM signing bonus and a guaranteed $1.12MM 2022 base salary, Aaron Wilson of tweets. Jones’ deal includes a $1MM roster bonus due on Day 5 of the 2023 league year. His 2023 base salary comes in at $5MM.
  • Josey Jewell, LB (Broncos): Two years, $11MM. The Broncos guaranteed Jewell $6MM, which is present through a $4MM signing bonus and a $1.5MM 2022 base salary, Wilson tweets. His nonguaranteed 2023 base comes in at $4.49MM. An additional $1MM in incentives are also available for the four-year veteran.
  • Leighton Vander Esch, LB (Cowboys): One year, $2MM. The Cowboys are guaranteeing $1.75MM and included an additional $1MM in playing-time incentives, Ari Meirov of PFF tweets.

Broncos To Re-Sign LB Josey Jewell

The Broncos continue to fill starting spots along their defense. They are bringing back multiyear linebacker starter Josey Jewell, Mike Klis of 9News reports.

Jewell is staying in Denver on a two-year deal worth $11MM. This comes a few weeks after the Broncos were connected to another Jewell contract. Denver had both its long-term linebacker starters — Jewell and Alexander Johnson — on track for free agency.

Both Jewell and Johnson missed most of last season; the former went down in Week 2 with a torn pectoral muscle. Denver selected Jewell in the 2018 fourth round and continued to use the Iowa product in a prominent role, giving him 30 starts in four seasons on his rookie deal. Jewell, 27, made 113 tackles in 16 starts during the 2020 season.

While Johnson was the slightly higher-regarded linebacker during the duo’s time together in Denver, he is three years older. Denver is not expected to re-sign Johnson, per Klis, who adds 2021 third-round pick Baron Browning is ticketed to play alongside Jewell as an off-ball linebacker starter. Jewell also stands to be a relatively low-cost signing, given his recent injury. The Broncos now have Jewell, D.J. Jones and Randy Gregory in the fold on their front seven.

Denver Emerging As Premier QB Destination

We wrote a bit earlier today on the Broncos being among multiple AFC teams who “have trade compensation lined up with the Packers,” in relation to quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Well, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Denver has emerged as a prime location for many of the league’s veteran quarterbacks looking for a potential change of scenery.

The Broncos recently hired former Packers’ offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett to replace Vic Fangio, who failed to accomplish a winning season in three years with the Broncos. The former Green Bay staffer represents an obvious and strong connection for Rodgers. Should Rodgers decide to move on from the Packers, having a play-caller that he’s familiar with could add some allure to the Mile High City. Another intriguing aspect that could bring a star quarterback to Denver is the addition of former Vikings’ offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak as passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach. Kubiak just helped Kirk Cousins turn in one of his best seasons in Minnesota.

Hackett and company inherit an impressive roster posed to perform. The defense is comprised of veterans like outside linebacker Bradley Chubb, safety Justin Simmons, defensive end Shelby Harris, and cornerback Ronald Darby. There are a number of free agents that Denver would like to bring back like cornerbacks Bryce Callahan & Kyle Fuller, defensive back Kareem Jackson, inside linebacker Josey Jewell, and outside linebacker Malik Reed. Even if they fail to bring some of those names back, the Broncos saw impressive seasons last year for youngsters like cornerback Patrick Surtain II, linebacker Baron Browning, defensive end Dre’Mont Jones, and safety Caden Sterns. The list of defensive players above may not overwhelm you with stardom, but, together, the Broncos defense ranked third in the league in points allowed and eighth in the league in yards allowed.

In addition to a brand new offense and stacked defense, Denver boasts a nice array of young offensive weapons. An impressive receiving corps is led by veteran 26-year-old Courtland Sutton, young star Jerry Jeudy, and Tim Patrick, who has broken out a bit over the past two seasons. The Broncos also have two talented, young receiving tight ends in Noah Fant and Albert Okwuegbunam. Any quarterback looking to join in on the fun would potentially have the benefit of a two-headed rushing attack that was 79 yards short of a combined 2,000-yard rushing season. Running back Javonte Williams enjoyed a healthy dose of carries in his rookie season, and there is mutual interest in bringing back Melvin Gordon.

Rodgers is obviously a name to keep an eye on as the decision on his future in Green Bay looms on the horizon. He has said that he will let the Packers know of his intentions before the franchise tag deadline so they can figure out how to deal with free agent wide receiver Davante Adams. In addition to Rodgers, though, keep an eye out for Denver to make moves on other quarterbacks searching for greener pastures. Russell Wilson has long been rumored to be interested in moving on from Seattle, and Deshaun Watson is still searching for a new home.

Whether Rodgers, Wilson, Watson, or some other under-the-radar name, look for the Broncos to make a move for a star quarterback. If they are able to find the right fit, the move could bring them into contention for what could easily turn into the toughest division in football.

Broncos Looking To Re-Sign Josey Jewell

The Broncos have a number of key free agency decisions to make in the coming weeks, including with their linebacker corps. According to Mike Klis of 9News, one key piece the team is looking to re-up is Josey Jewell.

Klis reports that the team will meet with Jewell’s agent at the upcoming Scouting Combine this week. They will be in communication with any number of the team’s other pending free agents as well, but Klis notes that “there is an affinity for Jewell”, so he is likely to be among Denver’s priorities in March.

A fourth-round pick in 2018, Jewell has emerged as a key contributor to the Broncos’ defense. He played a larger role on special teams than defense in his first two campaigns, though he did make 12 starts during that span. In his third year, he took off, starting all 16 contests and recording 113 tackles, two sacks and four pass breakups.

The 27-year-old was limited to just two games in 2021 due to a torn pectoral muscle. However, as Klis writes, “all signs point to Jewell wanting to stay in Denver”, as he remained part of the team’s day-to-day routine even after the injury. If anything, it could drop the cost for any new deal he signs with Denver.

Besides Jewell, other pending free agents (both restricted and unrestricted) in the middle of the Broncos’ defense include Jonas Griffith, Natrez Patrick, Kenny Young, Alexander Johnsonand Micah KiserThere is plenty of room for overhaul at the position, though it seems at least one member of the linebacker corps could be staying put.