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Broncos sign former Saints running back

The former Notre Dame star played two years for Broncos head coach Sean Payton in New Orleans.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — On Wednesday, running back Tony Jones Jr. became married to Beca in a ceremony in his hometown of St. Petersburg, Fla.

On Thursday, Jones’ agent, Denver-based Peter Schaffer, delivered his wedding present – a one-year contract with the Denver Broncos.

Jones, 25, flew in to Denver on Thursday afternoon, took his physical exam at Broncos headquarters and was to sign his one-year deal on Thursday evening, a source told 9NEWS.

Whether it was Broncos general manager George Paton and his first-year affinity for former Vikings, or new head coach Sean Payton and his fondness for former Saints, football bosses like what they know.

After rushing for 857 yards on 6.0 yards a carry as a senior at Notre Dame in 2019, the 5-foot-11, 224-pound Jones went undrafted in 2020 but signed with Payton’s Saints as a college free agent. Jones spent all but the final week of his rookie season on New Orleans’ practice squad, then made Payton’s 53-man, season-opening roster in 2021.

Credit: AP Photo/Nick Wass
New Orleans Saints running back Tony Jones Jr. (37) runs with the ball during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Jones started four games, played in 11, and rushed for 142 yards off 54 carries while catching 5 passes for another 29 yards.

Payton stepped away from coaching in 2022 and Jones was waived by the Saints one month into the regular season. The Seahawks claimed Jones off waivers and he finished the season with Seattle although he played sparingly.

To date, Jones has been a No. 3 tailback with potential to handle a bigger role. He is the third power back in the Broncos’ backfield as he joins Javonte Williams (220 pounds) and newly acquired free-agent Samaje Perine (240 pounds). The three power backs would seem to make it less likely the Broncos will re-sign veteran power back Latavius Murray, who led Denver with 703 rushing yards last season in just 12 games.


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