Denver Broncos Most Important Free Agent In 2024 Revealed

Josey Jewell, Broncos, NFL Free Agency
August 19, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; Denver Broncos linebacker Josey Jewell (47) during halftime against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

A lot of attention has been given to the quarterback position of the Denver Broncos and rightfully so. Quarterback is the most important position on the field and there will be a change coming at that spot in Denver.

The Broncos look like they will be moving on from veteran Russell Wilson, who was benched for the final two games of the 2023 regular season. At some point, he will be released and the team will be on the hunt for someone who better fits what Sean Payton is looking for at the position.

While of the utmost importance, their quarterback situation is far from the only thing they have to figure out this offseason. Another big decision they need to make is with linebacker Josey Jewell, who is set to hit free agency.

NFL News & Rumors: Josey Jewell, 2024 NFL Free Agency, Denver Broncos Updates

Jewell, a fourth-round pick out of Iowa in the 2018 NFL Draft, is set to hit free agency again after to a two-year deal in 2022. In the opinion of Jeff Legwold of ESPN”, Jewell is the biggest looming free agent decision the Broncos have to make this offseason.

“Beyond the decision the Broncos make with quarterback Russell Wilson — many in the league expect him to be released — Jewell, who has posted 100-tackle seasons in three of the past four years, leads the team’s list of unrestricted free agents. The Broncos, having traded plenty of draft picks in recent years, don’t have a natural replacement for Jewell on the roster and will have one of the league’s worst salary-cap situations if Wilson is released.

General manager George Paton has already admitted the team will almost certainly sit out the first wave of free agency, so it will be difficult for the Broncos to keep Jewell or their other frontline free agents unless they are willing to take less to stay,” wrote Legwold.

Jewell is one of the better free agents hitting the market this offseason. He was productive in 2023, totaling 108 tackles with 3.0 sacks, two tackles for loss and three quarterback hits.

NFL News & Rumors: Josey Jewell, 2024 NFL Free Agency, Denver Broncos Updates

While seemingly an integral part of the Broncos’ defense, it is fair to wonder whether or not Payton sees him as a long-term piece for the team. After playing 93 percent of the defensive snaps he was available for in 2022, he played only 75 percent in 2023.

Jewell appeared in 16 regular season contests in 2023 but played only 796 defensive snaps. In 2022, despite playing in fewer games with only 13, he was on the field for 826 snaps.

That is an indication the current coaching staff may not think as highly of Jewell as the previous staff did. He has done an excellent job of turning himself into a productive player, but the Broncos could be hard-pressed to keep him this offseason if another team comes with a strong offer.

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