Broncos defensive lineman Dre’Mont Jones felt the same sentiment as when his former college teammate, Denzel Ward, recently signed a whopping $100.5 million contract extension with the Cleveland Browns, becoming the Richest cornerback in NFL history.
“Everyone wants to hit the jackpot, break the bank like Denzel did, especially since we moved in together and he was my roommate [in] the last years of college,” Jones told reporters Tuesday during the second week of Denver’s offseason schedule.
Presented to Jones is a similar opportunity to secure the bag. The 2019 third-round pick is entering the final year of his rookie contract, which is expected to net $2.54 million for the upcoming campaign. He ranks as the 124th highest-paid DL in the league, according to OverTheCap.com.
If the 25-year-old Jones simply relies on his past two seasons, in which he totaled 12 sacks, the Ohio State product will receive a fair market offer through (or before) 2023 with no restrictions. His youth stands out among a watered-down market expected to feature JJ Watt, Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox.
“Congratulations to Denzel – if he ever sees this. But you can’t really think of contract stuff,” Jones said. “It’s a bit difficult because you never really know when it’s going to happen. You never know when you’re going to get it. For example, if you’re always anticipating the big contract, you might not get what you want. want.”
However, if Jones finally realizes his full potential — there were pre-draft comparisons to former Bengals Pro Bowler Geno Atkins — he could very well follow in his former roommate’s footsteps, walking down the path of generational wealth.
Entrenched as the Broncos’ best inside defenseman, the opportunity is there. All you have to do is put one foot in front of the other.
“I just have to hold my end of the stick and make sure I’m at my best,” Jones said. “I’ve been working my tail this offseason to get my body straight, get my technique down. We still have a long way to go, so I’m going to keep doing that.”