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Broncos trade second-round draft pick for Ravens’ Jones

February 14, 1997

DENVER (AP) _ The Denver Broncos traded their second-round pick in the 1997 draft to the Baltimore Ravens on Friday in exchange for offensive left tackle Tony Jones.

The Broncos restructured Jones’ contract, giving him a four-year deal worth $11 million plus a $3 million signing bonus. Jones was scheduled to earn $2.5 million this season in Baltimore.

The Broncos acquired Jones, 31, a veteran of nine NFL seasons, as a replacement for Gary Zimmerman, who is expected to retire.

The contract reportedly will pay Jones a $1 million base salary this season and next, increasing to $3 million in 1999 and 2000. Jones is scheduled to count $1.75 million against Denver’s salary cap in each of the next two seasons and $3.75 million against the cap in 1999 and 2000.

The deal with Jones on the first day of the NFL’s free-agent signing period put the Broncos over the 1997 salary cap of $41.45 million.

The Broncos released six players on Friday to create some cap room.

The players were left guard Mark Schlereth, right tackle Broderick Thompson, cornerback Lionel Washington, wide receiver Mike Sherrard, linebacker Britt Hager and offensive lineman Scott Adams.

Jones has spent his entire career with the Ravens, formerly the Cleveland Browns, starting 114 of 123 games, including a string of 105 starts in a row. He signed as a free agent in 1988 after playing at Western Carolina University.

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