Upgrade Your Fandom

Join the Ultimate Denver Broncos Community!

Why the Broncos signed Adam Jones instead of fan favorite Kayvon Webster

Ryan Koenigsberg Avatar
August 27, 2018

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Welcome to the pack, Pacman.

On Monday afternoon at the UC Health Training Center, all eyes were on the new No. 20, Adam “Pacman” Jones, the former Pro-Bowl corner who the team signed on Sunday in hopes of filling their obvious hole at the bottom of the cornerback depth chart.

Meanwhile, in Houston, Kayvon Webster, the guy who many Broncos fans wanted instead of Jones, was signing a one-year deal with the Texans. Webster, a former Bronco and Super Bowl 50 champion, was a fan and locker room favorite during his time in Denver, earning special teams captain honors as an ace gunner for the special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis.

Buried on the depth chart underneath the pack of dogs that was the ‘No Fly Zone,’ though, Webster headed off to Los Angeles as a free agent last offseason, looking for the ability to start. He earned that right in L.A., but a torn Achilles mid-season put him out for the year and landed him back on the free agent market this offseason.

Despite making his love for the Mile High City abundantly clear throughout the offseason, he didn’t see the same love in return from the team that drafted him in the third round back in 2013. In dating terms, it felt as if the Broncos “ghosted” Webster.

So, when Denver finally came to terms with their cornerback problem after a plethora of struggles from all of their depth pieces in the third preseason game, despite fans clamoring for Kayvon, they went after Jones, signing the 34-year old corner to a one-year deal.

In speaking with a team source, there were many reasons they went in the direction of Jones instead of Webster.

The first reason mentioned to me was not about cornerback play but about return ability. Jones, even in his old age—in football terms—can be trusted as a reliable punt returner. How trusted can he be? How about this—in his entire career as a punt and kick returner, Jones has only lost two fumbles. Last season, as a rookie, Isaiah McKenzie lost just as many.

“Yes, I’m very comfortable with it and I love it,” Jones explained of his punt return prowess on Monday. “I’m one of those guys that don’t believe that the first guy can ever catch me. We’ll see when my number is called and I promise I’ll lead by example.”

After practice, head coach Vance Joseph mentioned Jones’ experience at returner multiple times. Whether that means Isaiah McKenzie’s days are numbered or that the team wants a safety net in case McKenzie’s fumble issues come back up is yet to be seen.

In contrast, Webster is not a returner.

The other thing I was told separated Jones and Webster in the Broncos’ eyes was experience at the position. While he’s heading into his sixth year in the league, Webster has only started 13 games at corner, with 11 coming in L.A. last year before his injury. On the other side, Jones has started 102 games at corner in his career, including a Pro-Bowl season under Vance Joseph’s tutelage in Cincinnati.

When you look at production on the football field, it’s not hard to see that Jones is a different caliber of player. If there’s one area in which Webster get’s the nod, though, outside of his youth, its his lack of off-the-field issues.

“Pacman” has a long, long laundry list of arrests and various legal troubles that have followed him throughout his career, but Vance Joseph was willing to set that aside, saying the veteran corner has “matured.”

“It’s two parts: it’s football character—which I’ve coached him for two seasons and his football character is A-plus,” he said. “He was a team captain for us, he made a Pro Bowl for me, he’s great in meetings, he’s great in the locker room, he’s a great leader. He’s played a long time in this league. Now, personal character, we all know the background. He would even acknowledge as a young guy he made some mistakes, but he’s paid for every mistake he’s made. This guy has been through a lot in his life—and obviously, it was his own doings—but he’s paid for those mistakes. He’s matured, he’s a married man of three and he wants to win football games. He’s here to help us win football games.”

In the end, you’ve heard that old saying about “the more you can do” and that’s the reason went with Adam Jones over not just Kayvon Webster but any other available player.

“There was one guy that fit the bill,” Joseph said of the team’s needs at punt returner and corner. “He solves two issues as one body.”


Share your thoughts

Join the conversation

The Comment section is only for diehard members

Open comments +

Scroll to next article

Don't like ads?
Don't like ads?
Don't like ads?