The 2022 season marked the first time in Josie Jewell’s NFL career that he was a free agent, although his availability was short-lived on the open market. Denver Broncos general manager George Patton announced Jewell’s re-signing in March on a two-year, $11 million deal, with a $6 million guarantee this season.
“I’m very happy that they want me back, and it means a lot to sign up here again,” Jewell said during a media briefing Wednesday at UCHealth Training Center. “We kind of had the old coaches, a bunch of new players. I was just hoping to build at least a little relationship while I was still here rehab early in the off season. I got to know a couple of them. Linebackers coach Peter Hansen, I spoke With him several times, “Coach E” (defensive coordinator Ejiro Evo) several times, and I really enjoyed my conversations with them.”
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Heading into his fifth season, Jewell will play under his third coach since entering the league with the likes of Vance Joseph and Vic Fangio in the rear view. Back in 2018, the former Iowa Hawkeye quarterback was drafted into the fourth round (#106) and competed for playtime as backup. Jewell eventually got his start shots on a limited basis in his first two seasons before taking to the scene in his third year.
The 6-foot-2, 236-pound linebacker has played in all 16 games of the 2020 season, recording 113 tackles (67 singles), five tackles for loss, five QB hits, four defensive passes and two kicks. Jewell had been hoping to continue his frantic success into 2021, only to suffer a torn pectoral muscle while dealing with a returnee in a week two game in Jacksonville.
Jewell was asked about a season-ending injury that completely halted his momentum in the fourth year.
“Yes, I definitely feel like I was playing some of the best ball I’ve played professionally so far,” he said. “But definitely looking forward to that and trying to improve on that from what I did last year, and keep trying to stack those days and stack the good games and good practices on top of each other.”
Jewell hasn’t faded into the background after his chest injury last fall. He stayed connected in Dove Valley and almost became an additional coach for his suddenly trapped teammates who not only lost him through injury, but also fellow rookie Alexander Johnson. Jewell explained why he was attached to the building.
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“I just want to stay by their side, depending on what happened the next year and also, just keep that relationship with everyone,” Jewell said. “I know that if you are out of the game for too long, you will lose some element of your IQ or maybe slack off somehow, lack somewhere and lose knowledge. So I just wanted to stay around the game, stay up to date, get to know these people more, and keep going This relationship and communication.”
The 27-year-old is poised to launch from an interior quarterback in the Broncos’ 3-4 defense and will play alongside newly signed full-back Alex Singleton, as well as Baron Browning and Jonas Griffith. Jewell has been a model of consistency in the Broncos locker room and is known for his willingness to direct men, his work ethic, and a very high drive that translated into the rehab room.
“I’ve never had an injury like this before, or one at all that was the end of the season injury,” Jewell said when asked about his recovery “better than I expected.”
‘The Outlaw’ confirmed he’s been “100%” since February, so his rehab is complete. The Broncos will continue to count on Jewell as a veteran presence in Dove Valley’s rapidly changing culture this season.
When asked about expectations about the Broncos’ new defense, Jewell swung the fences.
He said, “I think we have a lot of great players, a lot of great talent in the room, whether it’s a linebacker, safety or up front, it doesn’t matter. There is a lot of talent, I think we need to define our job, connect, and I think the sky It’s our limit.”
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