During the leadup to the trade deadline, Patrick Surtain appeared untouchable. In the aftermath, it certainly looks like those reports depicting the Broncos’ belief in the All-Pro cornerback from a long-term perspective were accurate.
That said, the Broncos did set a price for the third-year standout. As teams called on a player deemed out of reach, Denver is believed to have asked for two first-round picks in exchange for Surtain, according to a GM who spoke with the Washington Post’s Jason La Canfora. And that cost may not have even sealed a deal. The Broncos set a two-first-rounder baseline for their best player, making it unlikely he would become a true candidate to be moved.
Surtain rocketed to the top tier at his position via a first-team All-Pro showing in 2022, doing plenty to help the Broncos stay in games despite a broken offense. The 23-year-old cover man can be kept on a rookie contract through 2025, with the Alabama alum on a smooth track toward seeing his fifth-year option exercised by May.
The elite perimeter corner has also played a key role in the Broncos recovering from their historic 70-20 loss to the Dolphins. In particular, the team’s first win over the Chiefs since 2015 may have changed the Broncos’ thinking. The 3-5 team shifted a bit on seller’s trades after that win, according to the GM. The Broncos were believed to be “open for business;” that turned out not to be the case.
Justin Simmons also came up frequently in teams’ talks pre-Week 8 talks with the Broncos, and it would not have taken as much to pry away the eighth-year safety. But the standout DB did not emerge in many trade rumors, despite his status as one of the league’s top ballhawks. The Jerry Jeudy–Courtland Sutton pair came up frequently, but the Broncos will regroup with their starting receivers, perhaps with the intent of seeing each rebuild their trade value. Offers for Jeudy and Sutton did not come close to the team’s desired asking prices. Deadline-day proposals are believed to have come in, but Sean Payton‘s updated stance of not shopping anyone turned out to lead to a rare quiet deadline day in Denver.
While Denver’s defense has recovered after a woeful start, the team’s five first-half losses will create an uphill battle toward a potential wild-card berth. The team still has road matchups with the Bills and Lions on its docket. But the Broncos’ batch of trade chips, for the most part, are all under team control through at least 2024. Garett Bolles‘ deal expires after next season, as does Simmons’. Jeudy is due a $12.99MM fifth-year option salary next season, while Sutton’s $15MM-per-year pact runs through 2025.