In the blockbuster trade that sent quarterback Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos last offseason, there was one player the Seattle Seahawks wanted in the deal that they didn’t get: defensive lineman Dre’Mont Jones. While the Seahawks finally landed the 26-year-old, signing him to a three-year, $51.53 million contract shortly after free agency opened in March, Jones said he should’ve been in Seattle much earlier.
In a Zoom interview with reporters on Monday, April 10, Jones, who spent the first four years of his career with the Broncos, ripped his former team for not sending him away sooner if they weren’t going to pay up when his rookie contract expired anyway.
“I mean, s***, they should have just traded me from the jump,” he said, per Tacoma News Tribune reporter Gregg Bell. “I was included in the trade. Denver said no. Denver didn’t pay me my proper respects, so I’m here because they respected me from the jump.”
Seahawks general manager John Schneider shared a similar sentiment on Seattle Sports 710 last month. While negotiating the Wilson trade, “We talked about a bunch of guys, and he was one of them,” Schneider said per Seahawks.com. “They were not willing to part with him.”
In exchange for Wilson and a fourth-round pick, the Broncos traded quarterback Drew Lock, tight end Noah Fant, defensive lineman Shelby Harris, two first-round picks, two second-round picks, and a 2022 fifth-round selection to the Seahawks.
While Seattle finished the 2022 NFL season with a 9-8 record and earned a spot in the Wild Card playoff round, the Broncos missed the postseason entirely with a 5-12 record, finishing dead last in the AFC West.
Jones sounds ready to use that chip on his shoulder to propel his game in Seattle. When asked to describe his playing style on Monday, “Definitely a high motor,” he said per ESPN‘s Brady Henderson. “Definitely not a one-trick-pony type of player. I like to attack. … I’m always trying to apply pressure.”
Dre’Mont Jones Called His Last Year in Denver Too ‘Hectic’
This isn’t the first time Jones has shaded the Broncos. Shortly after he signed with Seahawks on March 17, Jones sounded off on what it was really like playing in Denver last season during an appearance on Seattle Sports 710.
“To keep it short, it was a lot more hectic than any of us probably wanted it to be,” Jones said. “It was just too much going on, a lot of drama that was unnecessary. Football didn’t seem as important as it needed to be at one point, and that sucks because that’s coming from a place that I really grew to appreciate.”
While the Broncos could’ve used their franchise tag on Jones, which would’ve cost them up to $19.7 million, Denver passed on the opportunity. The Broncos were expected to prioritize retaining Jones, but the former third-round pick from the 2019 NFL draft said he didn’t like how the negotiations were playing out.
“I don’t wanna make things sound negative, but Denver was kind of playing games,” Jones said. “Seattle came calling in and they kind of presented us with their idea what they wanted me to do and the total amount and we just rolled with that. … [Seahawks] kind of came in hot and out of nowhere and I appreciate it.”
Dre’Mont Jones Wants ‘to Be a Solution’ in Seattle
Despite the Broncos having one of the worst seasons in franchise history last year, Jones was one of the team’s few bright lights. In 13 game appearances, he tied his career-high 6.5 sacks, nine tackles for a loss, and 10 quarterback hits. The Ohio State alum also set a new personal record with 47 combined tackles.
The Seahawks are hoping the 6-foot-3, 287-pounder helps with their inconsistencies on the defensive front after ranking 28th in yards allowed per game (369.7) and 30th in rushing yards allowed (151.9). Jones recorded a 4.5% run stuff rate last season, the 10th-highest among defensive tackles, per Next Gen Stats. His 16% pass rush win-rate ranked sixth for defensive tackles in the NFL, per ESPN.
Jones said after inking his new deal in Seattle last month, “I’m here to be a solution, not a problem. All my life I’ve been an underdog in a way, always kind of counted out in a way. So that’s what motivates me, that’s what drives me. Every play, every game, I take it very seriously.”