The Denver Broncos are expected to pursue Arizona Cardinals veteran pass rusher Chandler Jones as one of the top players in free agency, according to league sources not authorized to speak publicly.
Denver Broncos expected to pursue Chandler Jones in free agency
The Broncos need a pass rusher to operate opposite Bradley Chubb after the AFC West franchise traded Von Miller to the Los Angeles Rams last season. It doesn’t help that Denver also shipped Shelby Harris off to the Seahawks in the trade for Russell Wilson. Additionally, defensive linemen Stephen Weatherly, DeShawn Williams, and Shamar Stephen are pending free agents.
Jones is a four-time Pro Bowl selection and a two-time All-Pro. He could make as much as $20 million annually, per sources.
Jones recorded at least 10 sacks in six of the past seven seasons. In 2021, he registered 10.5 sacks in 2021 after recording 5 in the first game of the regular season. A former New England Patriots first-round draft pick from Syracuse, he had 18.5 sacks and 6 forced fumbles in his final two seasons with the Pats before being traded to the Cardinals.
Playing under a five-year, $82.5 million contract that has expired, Jones recorded 71.5 sacks and 33 forced fumbles in six seasons in Arizona. For his career, Jones has racked up 107.5 sacks.
How signing Jones would impact the Broncos and Cardinals
As mentioned above, the Broncos desperately need pass-rush help. They are obviously all-in after bringing in Wilson, so fielding a quality defense is a must. Chubb has struggled to stay on the field and hasn’t lived up to his fifth overall billing from the 2018 NFL Draft.
Signing Jones would instantly improve Denver’s pass rush and take pressure off Chubb. With a secondary that includes second-year CB Patrick Surtain II and star safety Justin Simmons, the Broncos would be a tough defense to face.
Meanwhile, Jones leaving the desert would be less than ideal for the Cardinals. With J.J. Watt out with injury, Jones and Markus Golden were Arizona’s only reliable source of pressure. If Jones signed elsewhere, all eyes would be on Watt entering his age-33 season, having played in just 55 of 97 possible games the last six years.