BRONCOS

P.J. Locke will stay with Broncos after agreeing to two-year deal

Mar 9, 2024, 7:44 PM

P.J. Locke flourished for the Broncos when he filled in for Kareem Jackson last year. Now, he appears poised to be the full-time starter as the Broncos move into a new era at safety.

Locke agreed to terms with the Broncos on a 2-year deal worth at least $7 million on Saturday. The deal was first reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, who added that the contract could be worth up to $9 million with incentives.

The return of Locke gives some stability to the safety corps in the wake of cutting Justin Simmons. The Broncos made Simmons a salary-cap casualty on Thursday, saving $14.5 million of space as they worked toward cap compliance for the start of the new league year.

Locke started eight games last year. Those were the first eight regular-season starts of his career. He saw first-team repetitions for a game at Tennessee in 2022, but he was not on the field at the start of the game for the defense and thus did not officially start.

Last year, Locke had 3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and an interception.

At this moment, P.J. Locke and fourth-year veteran Caden Sterns are projected to be the starters at safety. But Sterns missed 16 games last year with a torn patellar tendon suffered early in the Week 1 loss to Las Vegas. Further, Sterns has battled injuries in every season since his sophomore season at the University of Texas.

Also in the mix for the Broncos are 2023 sixth-round pick JL Skinner and 2022 fifth-round choice Delarrin Turner-Yell. The latter struggled in his on-field work on defense last year and suffered a torn ACL at the end of the season, likely putting him on the shelf until the start of the 2024 regular season.

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