Dre’Mont Jones is a ‘core player,’ but what is his future with the Broncos?
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — In the wake of trading Bradley Chubb on Nov. 1, Broncos general manager George Paton identified Dre’Mont Jones as one of the team’s “core players.”
“He is one of our core players, [and] we want him on here a long time,” Paton said then. “We’ll just leave it at that.”
But does Jones want to be a part of that core going forward?
The prolific pass-rushing interior defensive lineman was decidedly noncommittal when asked about his contract situation and his future at UCHealth Training Center on Wednesday.
Dre’Mont Jones, asked about his expiring contract and his future: pic.twitter.com/zfmpKq9Mwa
— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) November 9, 2022
“I view my standing with the franchise as, ‘This is Dre going into Year 4,'” Jones said. “That’s all I can say.”
When asked whether he wanted to stay with the Broncos long-term, his reply was quick and blunt.
“I’m here right now,” he said.
On the surface, it would seem as though the trade of Chubb freed up resources under the salary cap to make Jones one of the league’s highest-paid defensive linemen. And Jones would clearly deserve it; he’s one of just eight interior defensive linemen league-wide with more than 5 sacks this season.
Jones is also on pace for the first double-digit sack season of his career.
But when the subject of Chubb’s trade and what it meant for Jones arose, he was matter-of-fact about it.
“Money is going to open up if you lose anybody under contract, so, that’s what it is with that,” he said.
The trade of Chubb did hit Jones on a personal level. Jones issues a heartfelt tweet after the trade, saying Chubb’s departure “hurts my heart like no other.”
I understand “it’s a business”. We ALL get it. We get asked to buy in and care about the organization we work/play for no matter the outcome of our situations. And this one hurts my heart like no other. Gameday won’t feel the same without my G @astronaut https://t.co/38Fi4fpEJs
— Dre'Mont Jones (@TheOfficial_80) November 1, 2022
Wednesday, Jones elaborated.
“It’s not like Madden. It ain’t like we trade somebody and those feelings and emotions go away. So, it was tough the first couple of days,” Jones said. “But we’re gonna miss a great person and a great leader — just outside of football. Football doesn’t really matter when it comes to a person like that. Miami got a good dude.”
And to Jones, Chubb is not just a good man, but someone who does his best to bring out the finest in others.
“Always being an energy guy. Even though there were days when he faked it. It was obvious that he faked it, but he was doing it for a reason: to get all of us going,” Jones said. “Guys come in here, they have their dog days. One of those dog days where the day is long.
“And he just always brought the energy — more than people thought. So, that’s what people are going to miss.”
Jones misses Chubb — even though he could be a financial beneficiary of Chubb’s departure. But Jones also has to want to return.
The Broncos could use the franchise tag on Jones if they want him back for 2023, but cannot reach an agreement on a contract. But for now, the future appears murkier than it should regarding a player who is fast approaching the league’s elite stratosphere of interior pass rushers.