Broncos load up at safety with shocking Brandon Jones signing

What are the Broncos getting in free agent safety Brandon Jones?

Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

The Denver Broncos have made their first big "splash" in NFL free agency, signing another safety to help replace one of the team's key leaders and most consistent producers -- Justin Simmons. That splash is a three-year deal for former Miami Dolphins third-round pick Brandon Jones, who has been a part-time starter for the Dolphins over the course of his NFL career to this point.

The Broncos are reportedly giving Jones a three-year deal worth $20 million and $12.5 million guaranteed. Perhaps one of the biggest reasons Jones was given that kind of a deal by the Broncos despite only playing 463 snaps in 16 games last season is the way he ended the 2023 campaign for Miami.

Although Jones has played a lot of special teams for the Dolphins as well, at his price tag, it's likely he's going to be playing a much bigger role in the Denver secondary than anything else.

It could end up being that the Broncos' top three players in snaps at the safety position in 2024 will end up being former Texas Longhorns teammates. PJ Locke was undrafted out of Texas in the 2019 offseason, Jones was drafted by the Dolphins out of Texas in 2020, and Caden Sterns was picked by the Broncos out of Texas in 2021.

If nothing else, there's a cool connection between these guys, and they do have experience on the field at the same time together. Back in 2018, their final year together at Texas, they combined for six interceptions and 209 total tackles.

It's going to be a new-look secondary for the Denver Broncos in 2024. The Broncos will not only be replacing longtime starting safeties Justin Simmons and Kareem Jackson with the likes of Jones, Locke, and Sterns, but there will be a new starter opposite Pat Surtain II at the cornerback position as well.

The addition of Jones raises the floor of a safety room for Denver that needed some additional experience with Caden Sterns's injury history. And frankly, PJ Locke has had a bit of a history there as well. Jones has proven over the course of his career that he can be effective in coverage as well as attacking the line of scrimmage. He picked off a career-best two passes in 2023 for the Dolphins, and blitzed 69 times with 5.0 sacks and 10 QB hits back in 2021.

He's done a little bit of everything, and adds another young second-contract player for the Broncos at a key position. He will turn 26 years old this year and might have been underrated in his time at Miami.