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Brandon Jones and PJ Locke Contract Details

The Broncos took a major change at safety: they cut Justin Simmons, re-signed PJ Locke, and brought in Brandon Jones from the Dolphins. Here’s some analysis of the new contracts the Broncos have on the books.

As always, all contract data is from Over The Cap.

Brandon Jones

SeasonBase SalaryProrated Signing BonusPer Game Roster BonusRunning CashCap Number

*fully guaranteed salary; †$4.255 million fully guaranteed salary

This is a three year, $20 million contract with $11 million guaranteed via $5.5 million each in a signing bonus and base salary. The considerable base salary guarantee in 2025 makes it likely that this is a two year commitment to Jones, but it is quite feasible to move on after one season if something goes quite wrong with him.

This contract ranks 20th overall in APY, 18th in two year cash flow, and 15th in three year cash flow. That’s an indication that the Broncos see him as at least a mid level starter, and hopefully more than that.

PJ Locke

SeasonBase SalaryProrated Signing BonusPer Game Roster BonusRunning CashCap Number

This contract, meanwhile, is a very simple $3.5M pay as you go deal that envisions Locke as a primary backup. That may or may not be the case: Locke will be alongside Jones, Caden Sterns, and JL Skinner to make up a fairly solid depth chart at safety. The range that I thought Locke might get was instead around what Jones got–thus I considerably overestimated his value.

But I also didn’t anticipate what would happen to this position across the NFL as a whole.

Safeties took a major downfall in pay

While I disagree with cutting Simmons, once I see it as only a small part of the culling of safety contracts across the league–something I can’t recall seeing at one position to this magnitude in a season–I can at least understand cutting him. In data I’ve been tracking that I will share on OTC soon, as of now 13 top veteran safety contracts were terminated, which allowed teams to shed an amazing $111.8M in salary due in 2024. Simmons was due $14.5 million, making up almost 13% of that number. This was simply a case of aligning with a correcting market, as much as may not like it.

The $10.5 million due to Jones and Locke combined in 2024 is of course less than what Simmons was due. Combine this with bullish feelings toward Sterns and Skinner, and I have reasonably good confidence that the safety position will collectively not fall much in talent, if at all. We shall see what happens in the autumn.