Here's How Much it Might Cost to Sign Free Agent DT Dre'Mont Jones

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Here’s How Much it Might Cost to Sign Free Agent DT Dre’Mont Jones

Chicago Bears

Sure, the Washington Commanders using the Franchise Tag to keep Daron Payne from free agency throws a wrench in the Chicago Bears’ offseason plans. But fear not, my friends. Because there are other notable free-agent options worth pursuing if you’re looking for defensive line help. No, there isn’t another Payne about to hit the market. However, there is one free agent fit on the cusp of free agency.

Denver Broncos defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones has been on our radar for a while now. Jones is a logical fit for a Bears team that needs help along the defensive line — specifically on the interior. And locally, there is at least one prediction that the Bears will sign Jones as part of a major spending spree. The Broncos don’t plan on tagging Jones. And while Denver’s GM George Paton wants Jones back, he acknowledges the defensive tackle will make it to free agency:

Judging by those words, it sounds like Paton is prepared to lose Jones in free agency. This isn’t to say there is no shot for the Broncos to re-sign Jones. After all, Paton is correct in saying “you never know what’s gonna happen” in free agency because we’ve seen strange things happen at every turn. Every free agency period offers up new and unexpected surprises. It even gets to the point where I thoroughly enjoy watching the chaos unfold. But with the Bears having money to blow and needs across the board, I want to see them participate in the chaos. Get messy. Sign some deals. Flex that cap muscle.

As it stands, has the Bears down for being $98,029,155 under the salary cap. A healthy chunk of that could go to a player like Jones. How much? Well, it is hard to say. Admittedly, drawing up contracts is not my forte. But it sure sounds like Jones could command a huge chunk of change when free agency opens in less than two weeks. NFL reporter Jordan Schultz hears Jones could seek a contract that is in the ballpark of $60-70 million:

Whenever I see big numbers like that, the first question that pops into my mind is “over how many years?”

For what it’s worth, Pro Football Focus projects Jones to get a contract worth up to $58 million total over four years. That would fall short of the $60 million starting point hinted at above, but not too far off. Maybe a Bears offer could look something like a four-year deal that pays $17.5 million AAV on the high end? PFF estimates Jones will get $14.5 million per year, but that number could be on the conservative side. But even if that number is right on the nose, the potential to have multiple teams with interest at a similar price point would certainly bump that number up a few notches. A bidding war for Jones doesn’t seem all that far-fetched. Especially not when we were already assuming the DT market was going to go wild.

In the end, let’s be mindful of how tricky NFL contracts can be. I’ve lost count of how many times a deal is reportedly worth up to X amount of dollars, only to see a team cut the player before the end of the deal (leaving them to get only a fraction off the contract). Heck, we just saw the Rams cut linebacker Bobby Wagner after just one year of a contract that was worth up to $50 million. In other words, it would be smart to not get too caught up in the big number. Nevertheless, it is wise to be aware of what some of these deals could look like when they start flying around.

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.