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Newly acquired Broncos player: OLB Jacob Martin coming home again

The Aurora native was just here with the Jets. "I’d look up at the big screen and see somebody I either went to high school with or I knew that was at the game."

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — If this won’t make us feel old.

Jacob Martin, the newest Bronco by way of trade Tuesday from the New York Jets, grew up in the Denver area as a fan of?

Von Miller.

“When Von was drafted I was in middle school or high school,’’ Martin said Tuesday in a phone interview with 9News.

Martin was 15 when the Broncos made Miller their No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. So call it Martin’s freshman year at Cherokee Trail High School in Aurora. Miller now has two Super Bowl rings, a Super Bowl MVP award, and ranks 21st all-time with 121.5 sacks and is a key player on the odds-on Super Bowl favorite Buffalo Bills.

Was Martin a Bronco fan growing up?

“I was a fan of players,’’ he said. “I didn’t necessarily have a favorite team. I always admired Von. DeMarcus Ware when he was there. I grew up and got an opportunity to work out with those guys when I was a kid. I was a big fan of Brandon Marshall. The receiver. I went to his football camps every year.’’

The Broncos acquired Martin, a No. 3-type outside linebacker who did start 14 games for the Houston Texans last year, on Tuesday from the New York Jets in exchange for a flop of 2024 draft picks – the Jets get the Broncos’ fourth-round pick while the Broncos get the Jets’ fifth rounder.

Credit: AP
New York Jets defensive end Jacob Martin (54) rushes during an NFL game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

That’s not much in return for a quality backup pass rusher who is coming home again. The Martin trade was executed minutes after the Broncos traded their top outside linebacker, Bradley Chubb, to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for a first-round draft pick.

RELATED: Broncos trade Chubb to Dolphins for 1st-round draft pick

“I’m excited, man,’’ Martin said. “Excited for the opportunity. Excited to be back home. Excited to play for a great organization.”

Selected in the sixth round of the 2018 draft out of Temple by the Seattle Seahawks, Martin had 3.0 sacks as a rookie, then 3.5 for Houston in 2019. He got his first start for the Texans in 2020, when he added 3.0 more sacks, then became a 14-game starter last year when he registered a career-best 4.0 sacks.

With the Jets this year, Martin has played in 8 games with no starts, and has had 1.5 sacks. He was just in town nine days earlier to help the Jets beat the Broncos, 16-9 at Empower Field at Mile High.

Credit: AP
Denver Broncos quarterback Brett Rypien (4) throws pass before being hit by New York Jets defensive end Jacob Martin (54) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

“It was funny, I was looking up during the game, I’d look up at the big screen and see somebody I either went to high school with or someone I knew that was at the game,” Martin said.

He is familiar with Broncos’ head strength and conditioning coach Loren Landow. Martin worked out with Landow before the latter got the Broncos’ gig in 2018. Martin still has a sister and brother in the area – his parents moved to the Houston area – and his agent is Kevin Robinson, who works for the sports agency headed by Jack and Tom Mills.

Martin, 26, is flying Wednesday morning from New Jersey to Denver where he will take his physical. He will then cram the defensive playbook so he can play for the Broncos, who are on bye this week, play their next game at Tennessee on Nov. 13. With Randy Gregory not expected back from knee surgery for a few more weeks and Baron Browning iffy with a strained hip flexor, the Broncos will need Martin to help Nik Bonitto rush the passer.

“Can’t wait,’’ Martin said. “I’ll be most definitely ready to play.”

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