Sep 12, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA;   Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Sebastian Joseph-Day (69) takes on Chicago Bears offensive lineman Sam Mustipher (67) and tight end Cole Kmet (85) in the second half of the game at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos sign C Sam Mustipher to one-year deal

The Denver Broncos signed free agent center Sam Mustipher to a one-year contract Thursday.

Mustipher, 27, appeared in nine games (two starts) with the Baltimore Ravens last season.

He has started 42 times in 52 career games with the Chicago Bears (2020-22) and Ravens (2023).

The 6-foot-2, 332-pound offensive lineman was undrafted out of Notre Dame in 2019.

–Field Level Media

Sep 19, 2021; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Denver Broncos linebacker Justin Strnad (40) against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos re-sign LB Justin Strnad to 1-year deal

The Denver Broncos re-signed inside linebacker Justin Strnad on Thursday to a one-year deal.

Strnad, 27, has played in 50 games over the last three seasons for the Broncos, with his five starts all coming in 2021.

The 2020 fifth-round pick has 46 career tackles with one quarterback hit and has played in at least 84 percent of the team’s special teams snaps over the past two seasons.

–Field Level Media

Dec 17, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins safety Brandon Jones (29) celebrates after defeating the New York Jets at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos confirm 3-year deal with S Brandon Jones

The Denver Broncos confirmed the signing of former Miami Dolphins safety Brandon Jones to a three-year deal on Thursday.

Terms were not disclosed, but earlier reports put the value at $20 million — up to $22.5 million with incentives — with $12.5 million guaranteed.

Jones played in 16 games (six starts) with Miami in 2023 and contributed two interceptions, four passes defensed and 48 tackles.

Jones, who turns 26 next month, was drafted in the fourth round by Miami in 2020 and tallied three interceptions, four forced fumbles, eight sacks and 238 tackles in 54 games (30 starts).

“Truly wouldn’t trade these last 4 years for anything. Forever grateful for the Dolphins organization for taking a chance on a kid from Nacogdoches, Texas that wanted nothing more than to live out his childhood dreams of playing in the NFL. Denver … LFG,” Jones posted Monday on X, confirming the move.

–Field Level Media

Miami Dolphins safety Brandon Jones (29) celebrates recovering a fumble on the goal line during the first half of an NFL game against the Dallas Cowboys at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Dec. 24, 2023.

Reports: Broncos signing S Brandon Jones to 3-year deal

The Denver Broncos are signing former Miami Dolphins safety Brandon Jones to a three-year, $20 million contract, per multiple reports Monday.

The deal is worth up to $22.5 million with incentives and includes $12.5 million guaranteed, multiple outlets reported.

Jones appeared in 16 games (six starts) in 2023 and contributed two interceptions, four passes defensed and 48 tackles.

Jones, who turns 26 next month, was drafted in the fourth round by Miami in 2020 and recorded three interceptions, four forced fumbles, eight sacks and 238 tackles in 54 games (30 starts).

The Broncos released former All-Pro safety Justin Simmons to clear room under the salary cap.

–Field Level Media

Sep 17, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton talks with quarterback Russell Wilson (3) in the fourth quarter against the Washington Commanders at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Points likely at a premium as Broncos visit Patriots

The New England Patriots and Denver Broncos are nearly 10 years removed from the final regular season meeting that pitted Tom Brady against Peyton Manning.

New England won that game 43-21 on Nov. 2, 2014, behind four passing touchdowns from Brady. If Sunday night’s clash between Denver and the visiting Patriots proves anything, it might just be how much truly can change over the course of a decade.

Both offenses have fallen far from the perch they sat atop nine years ago, with New England’s decline especially evident.

The Patriots (3-11) are averaging a league-worst 13.3 points per game following last Sunday’s 27-17 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Chad Ryland’s 25-yard field goal put New England up 10-7 with 4:47 left in the second quarter, but the Patriots didn’t score again until there was just under 8 1/2 minutes left in the fourth.

Denver (7-7) sported the least explosive offense of the 2022 campaign (16.9 points per game), but Sean Payton, in his first season as Broncos coach, has started to turn things around.

A winner of six of its past eight games, Denver is averaging 21.7 points under Payton. It was held under that mark in a 42-17 setback against the Detroit Lions last weekend, but New England coach Bill Belichick knows that the Broncos have what it takes to bounce back.

“They obviously have good players,” Belichick said. “They started the same line in every game, so they’ve got a lot of continuity there. Quarterback’s a unique player, he’s got a lot of skill. Receivers, (Courtland) Sutton’s as good as there is — big guy, great hands, contested catches, a really hard guy to cover.”

That quarterback Belichick was referring to is Russell Wilson, who was relatively quiet against Detroit, completing 18 of 32 passes for 223 yards and a touchdown.

Wilson was also shown getting laid into by Payton on the sideline late in the third quarter after a Denver TD was nullified because of an offensive offside penalty.

“Difficult night. … It was just one of those moments,” Payton told reporters afterward. “Listen, what I talk with Russell about is none of your business.”

Payton is making sure no negative feelings from that altercation — or the loss itself — spill over into Sunday’s meeting with the Patriots.

“You can only focus on the things you can control, and it’s obviously getting ready to play New England — and that’s it,” Payton said. “Focus on getting this next win, because that’s really all that matters.”

If the Broncos want to bounce back, they might have to do so without linebacker Nik Bonitto (knee) and tight end Greg Dulcich (hamstring/foot), who both missed practice on Wednesday.

Linebacker Jonathon Cooper (ankle) was limited for Denver, as was tackle Alex Palczewski due to a knee injury.

New England tight end Hunter Henry is also dealing with a knee injury, which forced him to miss Wednesday’s practice. Running back Rhamondre Stevenson (ankle), safety Jabrill Peppers (hamstring) and tackle Conor McDermott (concussion) were also held out.

Cornerback Jonathan Jones (knee) and receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (ankle) were among seven Patriots who were limited on Wednesday.

–Field Level Media

Nov 26, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos linebacker Nik Bonitto (42) sacks Cleveland Browns quarterback PJ Walker (10) in the second half at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos LB Nik Bonitto, TE Greg Dulcich out vs. Lions

The Denver Broncos have ruled out outside linebacker Nik Bonitto and tight end Greg Dulcich for their game Saturday night at the Detroit Lions.

Bonitto has not practiced this week after suffering a knee injury against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. Bonitto, 24, has played in all 13 games (three starts) and has 27 tackles, including 11 tackles for loss and seven sacks.

Dulcich (hamstring and foot issues) was a full participant Wednesday but didn’t practice Thursday and remains on injured reserve. Dulcich, 23, has played in only two games (one start) this season and has three receptions for 25 yards.

Safety P.J. Locke (neck) returned to practice as a limited participant on Thursday after not practicing Wednesday and is listed as questionable. Locke, 26, has played in eight games, starting four, and has 30 tackles, three sacks, one interception and two forced fumbles.

The Broncos (7-6) also waived rookie outside linebacker Ronnie Perkins on Thursday.

The Lions (9-4) listed quarterback Hendon Hooker (knee), a full participant in practice, as out for the game. Offensive tackle Taylor Decker (back), defensive tackle Benito Jones (neck), center Frank Ragnow (knee, back, toe) and wide receiver Josh Reynolds (back) all were listed as questionable for the game.

–Field Level Media

Nov 26, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos running back Samaje Perine (25) scores a touchdown against Cleveland Browns linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (6) and linebacker Sione Takitaki (44) after being pushed into the end zone by guard Quinn Meinerz (77) in the first quarter at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos G Quinn Meinerz hospitalized with elevated heart rate

Denver Broncos right guard Quinn Meinerz was hospitalized overnight in Los Angeles after experiencing an irregular heartbeat in Sunday’s win against the Chargers.

The issue is under control and he was released Monday morning to return to Denver, head coach Sean Payton said.

“I’m relieved to know Quinn is healthy and is going to be fine,” Payton said.

Meinerz, 25, left the game with an elevated heart rate in the first half of the Broncos’ 24-7 win. He has started all 13 games this season for Denver (7-6).

The 6-foot-3, 320-pound lineman has started 35 of his 41 games since Denver drafted him in the third round in 2021 out of Division III Wisconsin-Whitewater.

–Field Level Media

Oct 12, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Denver Broncos safety Kareem Jackson (22) runs the ball after an interception during the second quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

NFL suspends Broncos S Kareem Jackson 4 games

Denver Broncos safety Kareem Jackson returned from a two-game suspension, only to be suspended again on Monday for repeated violations of player safety rules after an incident in Sunday’s 21-20 win over the Minnesota Vikings.

The NFL announced that Jackson is suspended four games without pay for his hit on Vikings quarterback Joshua Dobbs. NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan issued the suspension and detailed the violation in a letter to Jackson, who had just served the two-game suspension that had been reduced from four upon appeal.

“With 13:38 remaining in the first quarter, you were involved in a play that the League considers a serious violation of the playing rules,” Runyan wrote in the letter. “The video of the play shows that you lowered your head and made forcible contact to Vikings quarterback Josh Dobbs. You had an unobstructed path to your opponent and the illegal contact could have been avoided.

“Illegal acts that are flagrant and jeopardize the safety of players will not be tolerated. The League will continue to stress enforcement of the rules that prohibit using your helmet to make forcible contact with your opponent. On the play in question, you lowered your head and delivered a forceful blow to the shoulder and head/neck area of an opponent when you had time and space to avoid such contact. You could have made contact with your opponent within the rules, yet you chose not to.”

Jackson was not penalized on the play. He will appeal his latest suspension, ESPN reported Monday night. He is otherwise eligible to return to the active roster after the Week 15 game against the Detroit Lions on Dec. 17.

Jackson was ejected for the second time this season after hitting Green Bay Packers tight end Luke Musgrave on the sideline in Denver’s 19-17 victory on Oct. 22. He missed an Oct. 29 home victory over the Kansas City Chiefs and a Nov. 13 win at the Buffalo Bills. In between, Denver had a bye in Week 9.

Jackson had already been fined four times this season, forfeiting a total of $89,670. Missing two games cost him another $279,000 in salary.

He was also ejected back in Week 2 after he laid a massive hit on Washington Commanders tight end Logan Thomas, who came away with a concussion on the play.

Jackson, 35, had nine total tackles against the Vikings and has 51 tackles, two interceptions and three passes defended in eight games (all starts) this season.

Jackson is in his 14th season in the NFL and his fifth with Denver after nine with the Houston Texans. He has 952 tackles and 22 career interceptions, returning three for touchdowns. He also has seven fumble recoveries, one returned for a score.

–Field Level Media