4. Josey Jewell, LB
Josey Jewell has played extremely well for the Denver Broncos as a former fourth-round pick. He is once again entering a contract year in 2023, but the Denver Broncos may already be planning on life without him.
The team re-signed veteran Alex Singleton to a three-year deal worth $18 million this past offseason. Jewell could easily get a similar type of deal and it won't cripple the team financially, by any means, but what are we to make of the Drew Sanders selection?
Sean Payton said during the NFL Draft that not only do you have to have a vision for the player's on-field role, but when you're drafting on day two, you need to know what a guy is going to be Year 1, Year 2, etc. It seems logical to think that the plan for Drew Sanders is to be sprinkled into the lineup in Year 1 with a full-time starter role waiting for him in year two.
And based on the contract recently given to Alex Singleton, that would seem to indicate that Josey Jewell is the guy getting the boot. Because this plan is seemingly already being set in motion, it makes me wonder if Jewell will even suit up for the Denver Broncos in the 2023 season.
The team has a starting-caliber linebacker in Jonas Griffith already under contract. Griffith could start next to Singleton and the same plan could remain in place. Meanwhile, Josey Jewell has advocates around the league like Ejiro Evero in Carolina and Vic Fangio in Miami...there might be a trade on the near horizon if the Broncos decide to go that route.
But as for 2024, it seems like a foregone conclusion.