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Inside linebacker back with Broncos on 2-year deal

The starting inside linebacker receives $11 million package with chance to make $12 million.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Denver Broncos are bringing back starting inside linebacker Josey Jewell on a two-year, $11 million contract, sources told 9NEWS, which was the first to report the news.

Jewell is the third major contract agreement the Broncos have reached during the free-agent period that opened Monday morning. All three were defensive players as the Broncos reached accord with former San Francisco defensive tackle D.J. Jones on a three-year, $30 million deal Monday evening and Dallas edge rusher Randy Gregory on a five-year, $70 million deal on Tuesday morning. Jewell can make up to $12 million with his two-year deal.

Credit: AP
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) throws under pressure from Denver Broncos inside linebacker Josey Jewell (47) and Dre'Mont Jones (93) in the second half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

More than once a Broncos' coach or personnel executive has referred to Jewell as "the glue" to the Denver defense. He is smart, tough and instinctive on the field, and a team-before-self type teammate with natural leadership qualities.

He was sorely missed last year after suffering a torn pectoral muscle in the first half of the Broncos' game two win at Jacksonville while making a big hit during punt coverage. A fourth-round draft pick out of Iowa in 2018, Jewell was second on the team with 113 tackles in 2020.

RELATED: Broncos sign former Cowboys pass rusher Randy Gregory

The leading tackler that year was Jewell's fellow starting inside linebacker Alexander Johnson, who had 124 stops. Johnson is a free agent and is not expected back as the Broncos want to make room for Baron Browning, who started nine games as a rookie last season.

RELATED: 9 free agents who may draw Broncos interest

RELATED: Former Broncos QB Bridgewater reaches one-year agreement with his hometown Dolphins

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