Broncos Seeking Two First-Rounders For OLB Bradley Chubb?

The Broncos have both been linked to wanting a first-rounder and change for Bradley Chubb and receiving an offer headlined by a Round 1 choice. Less than five hours ahead of Tuesday’s trade deadline, the fifth-year veteran remains a Bronco. It is worth wondering if the team is genuinely interested in moving on.

Denver GM George Paton is believed to be seeking two first-round picks for Chubb, according to Armando Salguero of Several teams are interested, but it would surprise if one of them met that asking price. Only a handful of defenders — a list that includes All-Pros Khalil Mack, Jalen Ramsey and Jamal Adams over the past four years — have been traded for packages including multiple first-rounders. The Panthers are believed to have received an offer of two firsts for Brian Burns. That could be impacting the Broncos’ Chubb talks.

More than 10 teams have discussed Chubb with the Broncos, Salguero adds. This list includes the Jets, who were linked along with the Dolphins as being a team considering parting with a first-rounder for the former Pro Bowler. But Salguero notes Gang Green is not believed to be a serious suitor at this point. New York features solid defensive line depth, rostering Carl Lawson, John Franklin-Myers and Vinny Curry outside.

Paton has told teams he can keep Chubb and extend him at a later point, per Salguero. This could double as a negotiating tactic. Chubb, 26, has expressed interest in re-signing with the Broncos, and the team has explored what it would cost to retain the contract-year edge defender. The ex-North Carolina State standout is playing of a fifth-year option worth $12.7MM. His second contract will come in north of $20MM per year.

Denver can indeed circle back to Chubb in 2023, but the team has some edge depth with Randy Gregory, Baron Browning and second-round rookie Nik Bonitto. It would be interesting to see the team pass on a first-round pick for a somewhat injury-prone player. Chubb missed a chunk of last season due to multiple ankle surgeries and was sidelined for most of 2019 (ACL tear).

The Broncos are facing a decision of passing on a big offer at the deadline, but they can still obtain value for Chubb — if a trade is the endgame — in a tag-and-trade scenario. The Seahawks played it this way with Frank Clark, receiving a package headlined by a first-rounder in March 2019. Of course, the Seahawks (feat. Russell Wilson) were contending at the 2018 deadline and had no reason to deal Clark at that point. Denver’s first Wilson-centered team has struggled, and its 3-5 record led to multiple big names — the other being Jerry Jeudy — coming up in trade talks.

A tag-and-trade scenario also would require the Broncos to carry Chubb’s tag price into free agency. This could be acceptable for the AFC West team, with Wilson’s $49MM-per-year contract not moving into its monster cap figures until 2024. Wilson is on Denver’s 2023 books at $22MM.

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