Courtland Sutton

Broncos Expected To Keep Courtland Sutton, Want Tim Patrick Back At Reduced Rate

Two of the NFL’s top trade chips leading up to the past two deadlines, Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy remain in Denver. Offers have come in at various points, but the Broncos stood pat. They may not this year, as Sean Payton begins his second offseason.

Rumored to be considering disbanding this duo at long last, the Broncos do not appear ready to part with Sutton. Emerging as the team’s top weapon in Payton’s first season, Sutton has two years left on the four-year, $60MM extension he signed in 2021. That is a below-market rate for a No. 1 wide receiver, and 9News’ Mike Klis notes the six-year veteran is expected back next season.

[RELATED: Russell Wilson Wants To Stay With Broncos, Still Expects Release]

Sutton, whom the Broncos nearly traded to the Ravens prior to the AFC North team’s Odell Beckham Jr. addition, does not have any guarantees remaining on his deal. Notching a number of acrobatic receptions for an offense that did not have much in the way of reliable weaponry last season, Sutton is due a $13MM base salary in 2024. $2MM of Sutton’s 2024 base ($13MM) becomes guaranteed on March 17. The former second-round pick is going into his age-29 season.

This would point to another round of trade rumors involving Jeudy, who is coming off a disappointing season. Although Jeudy’s 758 yards nearly matched Sutton’s total (772), the shiftier target struggled to be a steady target for Russell Wilson in Payton’s offense. A new quarterback almost definitely coming could change Jeudy’s standing in Denver, and the 2020 first-round pick’s trade value likely dropped due to his spotty performance and the $12.99MM guaranteed salary that comes with his fifth-year option.

The Broncos held out for a second-round pick for Sutton and a first-rounder for Jeudy last year. No such proposals are believed to have emerged, though Jeudy is reported to have drawn an offer including third- and fifth-rounders before the deadline. It will be interesting to see if the Broncos finally move on, as they have Marvin Mims likely to assume a bigger role in 2024.

While Tim Patrick remains on Denver’s roster, the former Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater target looms as a cut candidate due to a $9.5MM nonguaranteed 2024 salary and the fact he has not played since the 2021 season. Still, Klis adds the Broncos would like Patrick back at a reduced rate. If the parties cannot agree on that lower price, Patrick would be on track to be cut. Patrick going into his age-31 season will not help his value, making it rather important for the former UDFA to have signed an extension before his injury-plagued stretch.

ACL and Achilles tears over the past two training camps have kept Patrick off the field since his 734-yard showing in 2021. The surehanded 6-foot-4 wideout remains tied to the three-year, $30MM deal he signed just before Sutton back in fall 2021.

It is safe to assume the Broncos will not bring back all four of their top receivers next year, with Jeudy and Patrick on the radar to be moved. As of now, however, the team — which is $16MM-plus over the cap — is determining a plan early in an offseason in which Wilson is likely to be cut to bring an $85MM dead-money charge (over two offseasons, via a post-June 1 designation).

This cap situation will make it difficult for the Broncos to re-sign center Lloyd Cushenberry, who made a contract-year leap. After two healthy but unremarkable seasons to start his career, the former third-round center investment missed much of the 2022 season due to a groin injury. Cushenberry bounced back, ranking 11th among interior O-linemen in ESPN’s pass block win rate metric. The Broncos want to re-sign the four-year starter, but GM George Paton said the team is high on 2023 seventh-round pick Alex Forsyth and fellow holdover Luke Wattenberg. While the Broncos should not be ruled out from making a center move, early signs point to one of the rookie-deal cogs winning the job.

Broncos, LB Josey Jewell To Discuss Deal

Lloyd Cushenberry probably profiles as the Broncos’ top UFA-to-be, but multiple starting defenders are weeks from free agency as well. One of the team’s defensive regulars is on the radar to stay.

Although Josey Jewell arrived back in 2018, he is more closely connected to the current Denver regime than many of his teammates. Jewell and Justin Simmons were present when Vance Joseph was in place as head coach. With Joseph back as DC, the two cogs brought in to play in his system have maintained value. Denver has Simmons under contract, and the team is also interested in another Jewell deal.

The Broncos are expected to meet with Jewell’s camp at the Combine, according to 9News’ Mike Klis. Jewell played out a two-year, $11MM deal this past season, working as a regular starter alongside Alex Singleton. Jewell, Simmons and Courtland Sutton are the only players remaining from Joseph’s HC stay. The Combine runs from Feb. 26-March 4. The Broncos retain exclusive negotiating rights with Jewell until the legal tampering period starts March 11.

[RELATED: Broncos Likely To Adjust Justin Simmons’ Deal]

Denver has received solid play from its linebackers since the Jewell-Singleton tandem formed in 2022. Pro Football Focus has viewed Jewell as more consistent than Singleton, despite the latter’s whopping tackle count. Jewell delivered a versatile season to help the Broncos’ defense rally after a woeful start, totaling 108 tackles, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. PFF slotted Jewell just outside the top 40, rating Singleton — whose 177 tackles were the seventh-most any player has accumulated in a season during the 21st century — outside the top 55. Singleton is tied to a three-year, $18MM deal.

Taking advantage of what has become a modest market at ILB, the Broncos had Jewell and Singleton on manageable contracts last season. Given the volume of linebackers who signed contracts worth between $5-$8MM per year in 2023, it would surprise if Jewell, 29, commanded a far more lucrative pact this time around. The former fourth-round pick should still have some value as a dependable starter.

As the Broncos moved on from mainstays Brandon Marshall and Alexander Johnson during Jewell’s run, they have kept the Iowa alum as a starter. Denver drafted Drew Sanders in the 2023 third round, identifying him as a hybrid player also capable of edge support, so it will be interesting to see how serious the team is about retaining Jewell. The Broncos also have nose tackle Mike Purcell and safety P.J. Locke, who emerged as a productive starter during his contract year, headed for free agency.

Sean Payton was obviously not averse to restructuring deals to create cap space in New Orleans; his new team will probably head down that path soon. The Broncos are more than $24MM over the projected 2024 cap; they will not gain any space by cutting Russell Wilson, with his $35.4MM base salary already guaranteed.

On the contract front,’s Jeff Legwold adds $2MM of Sutton’s 2024 base ($13MM) becomes guaranteed on March 17. This gives the Broncos a window to look into a move.

While the 28-year-old wide receiver was by far the team’s most productive pass catcher last season, his through-2025 contract is currently nonguaranteed. Jerry Jeudy‘s $12.99MM fifth-year option, conversely, is fully guaranteed. Rumored to be considering moving one of their top two wideouts, the Broncos also have Tim Patrick‘s $10MM-per-year deal as a tool to create cap room. Patrick, who has missed the past two seasons due to injury, is due a nonguaranteed $9.5MM base salary this year.

Broncos Expected To Move On From Courtland Sutton Or Jerry Jeudy In 2024?

JANUARY 23: Klis has since indicated this was more speculation, due to the forthcoming cap hit Wilson’s release will bring, rather than a true indication of the team being prepared to disband the duo. Given the time the Broncos have invested in the pair without much return on investment, it would still surprise to see Jeudy and Sutton together in orange for a fifth season.

JANUARY 21: Countless trade rumors followed the Broncos’ receiving corps last year, but the team decided to roll out its Courtland SuttonJerry Jeudy duo for a fourth straight year. The team nearly traded Sutton to the Ravens last March, and Jeudy continued to come up in rumors leading up to the October deadline.

Although Sutton made a significant impact for the team this season, the Broncos appear close to separating this promising but inconsistent tandem. The team is expected to move on from either Sutton or Jeudy in 2024, according to 9News’ Mike Klis.

As the Broncos lay out their offseason plan, cap space will be an issue. Denver is currently projected to land $24MM over the 2024 salary ceiling, per OverTheCap, ahead of free agency. That number pales in comparison to those Sean Payton‘s Saints needed to whittle down in order to reach cap compliance during his final years in New Orleans, but the veteran HC’s new team still has some work to do. Denver’s receiver situation, then, will again come into focus.

Baltimore nearly acquired Sutton, before pivoting to an Odell Beckham Jr. free agency agreement, but the Broncos’ offense depended on the sixth-year veteran this season. A 2019 Pro Bowler who had struggled to recapture his form since a 2020 ACL tear, Sutton came through with several highlight-reel catches — some of which helping the Broncos reenter the playoff picture via a five-game midseason win streak. Whereas Denver’s passing attack depended on Sutton, Jeudy could not build on his strong 2022 finish.

While the two finished with similar yardage totals, Sutton became Russell Wilson‘s more dependable target. The one-handed catch maven scored 10 touchdowns, completing a 772-yard season. Jeudy finished with 758 yards — nearly 200 off his 2022 pace — despite the Broncos setting a higher price on the 2020 first-round pick. Denver wanted a first-round pick for Jeudy during the 2023 offseason, while the team sought a second-rounder for Sutton. Jeudy is believed to have fetched an offer including third- and fifth-round picks, but the Broncos stood pat. His inconsistency and 2024 price tag may well reduce Denver’s ask this year.

Jeudy, 24, is tied to a fully guaranteed $12.99MM fifth-year option salary. Sutton’s four-year, $60MM contract features a nonguaranteed $13MM for 2024; the 28-year-old wideout is signed through 2025. Before the deadline, the Broncos were believed to be readier to move Jeudy than Sutton. The younger receiver still stands to carry more trade value, though he has not justified his No. 15 overall draft slot after four seasons. If the Broncos do not view Jeudy as worthy of a second contract, the team could certainly opt to unload him and regroup around Sutton and 2023 second-rounder Marvin Mims.

Neither Payton nor GM George Paton was in Denver when the team drafted Jeudy, but the latter did authorize Sutton’s extension in 2021. While the team has held off on making a big change at receiver during the 2020s, its group has not panned out as hoped. The team’s evolving QB situation — one again set for turbulence after the expected Wilson release shatters a dead-money record — has not helped, however.

Denver can also pick up $9.5MM by releasing Tim Patrick, who has suffered back-to-back season-ending injuries, but the team would have at least one receiver spot open should it also trade Jeudy or Sutton this offseason.

NFL Injury Updates: Jacobs, Miller, Vikings, Sutton

To start with, let’s address one of the remaining games of this week. It appears that the Chiefs’ route to an eighth consecutive AFC West title will be a bit easier today as the Raiders will be playing without leading running back Josh Jacobs, per Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. After starting the first 13 games of the season with Las Vegas, Jacobs is now set to miss a second straight game.

Jacobs was held out of last week’s contest after suffering a quad injury in the previous week. He hadn’t been able to practice during a short week and the team had decided it better to act out of an abundance of caution so as to not risk further damage. The Raiders had been holding out hope that Jacobs would be able to find his way back to the field this week, but an illness combined with the healing quad to ensure that Jacobs would not be able to make an appearance in Week 16. If his absence last week, backup Zamir White earned his first career start, rushing for 69 yards and a touchdown in place of Jacobs.

After a promising start to his career, the last few years have been a bit inconsistent for Jacobs. He followed up two seasons in which he rushed for a combined 2,215 yards and 19 touchdowns with only an 872-yard campaign, though he was still breaching the endzone often with nine touchdowns. After a down year that led to the Raiders choosing not to pick up his fifth-year option, Jacobs exploding into a rushing title with 1,653 yards and 12 touchdowns. This year, Jacobs is at 805 rushing yards on a career-worst 3.5 yards per attempt and six touchdowns.

Jacobs had avoided playing out this season on the franchise tag, after coming to a one-year agreement with the Raiders, but a long-term deal remained elusive. Missing time due to injury at the tail end of disappointing season is unfortunately not going to help matters much when Jacobs enters the offseason at the end of the year.

Here are a few other injury updates from around the NFL:

  • In addition to Jacobs, while Las Vegas will reportedly have left tackle Kolton Miller return today as an active player, it appears that he may only be available as an emergency option on the offensive line, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. Miller has missed four of the team’s last five contests. In his absence the Raiders have experimented with moving usual starting right tackle Thayer Munford to the left side while having backup lineman Jermaine Eluemunor start on the opposite side of wherever they line up Munford. That trend should continue into Week 16.
  • We already reported on the situation with Vikings pass rusher D.J. Wonnum, but the team lost three other significant contributors to injury during yesterday’s game. Budding tight end T.J. Hockenson, rookie first-round wide receiver Jordan Addison, and cornerback Mekhi Blackmon were all forced out of Sunday’s game early. Fowler of ESPN reported this morning that the outlook for Hockenson is “not good.” While Minnesota is still holding out hope that his MRI will tell a different story, the team is bracing for bad news on the subject. As for Addison, an ankle sprain is projected to have him on a week-to-week status, and the Vikings will hope to glean a bit more information after further testing today, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
  • Lastly, the Broncos played much of yesterday’s loss to the Patriots without their leading receiver after Courtland Sutton left the game with a concussion, according to Parker Gabriel of The Denver Post. Sutton has struggled over the years to find the yardage success he had in 2019 but has rediscovered his redzone proficiency in 2023. The big-bodied receiver leads the team in receptions (58), receiving yards (770), and receiving touchdowns (10) this season. Sutton will have to pass through concussion protocol to return next week in time to help his team in what has become a bit more difficult race for a Wild Card spot.

AFC Trade Rumors: Patriots, Broncos, Renfrow

The Patriots fielded lots of calls for trade offers during today’s trade deadline, but two of the bigger names on their roster reportedly received no interest. According to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, teams called New England to take the temperature on pass rusher Josh Uche, safety Kyle Dugger, and tackle Michael Onwenu, while quarterback Mac Jones and veteran running back Ezekiel Elliott didn’t receive any nibbles.

Uche, Dugger, and Onwenu are all facing contract-years, so they all held a decent chance of being dealt. Uche was reportedly the most likely, per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo. After a couple quiet years to start his career, Uche burst onto the scene in 2022, combining with Matt Judon for half of the team’s 54 sacks last year. Mike Dugar of The Athletic reports that the Seahawks held serious interest in Uche “with talks going pretty deep,” but ultimately, landed Leonard Williams from New York instead. With Seattle filling their defensive line need with Williams, Uche will remain in New England.

As will, Jones and Elliott. It’s unclear how serious the Patriots were, if at all, about seeking trade partners for the two offensive contributors. The team will face a fifth-round option decision for Jones before next year, while Elliott will become a free agent at the end of the season.

Here are a few other rumors from around the AFC, starting out West:

  • It was a similar scene up in Mile High, where the Broncos decided not to move any of their potential trade assets due to a lack of serious interest. While the team reportedly did receive offers on players like receivers Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton, they didn’t gauge the offers as good enough to move on, per Jordan Schultz of Bleacher Report. Mike Klis of 9NEWS relayed that the team is “confident in its group of players.” While it seemed the team may be willing to dive into a rebuild, beating a sick Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs may have convinced them otherwise.
  • Remaining in the West, the Raiders were unable to find a buyer for wide receiver Hunter Renfrow, to little surprise. Las Vegas gave Renfrow a big-money extension after his Pro Bowl season and has diminished his role severely ever since. So far this year, Renfrow has been on the field for over half of the Raiders’ offensive snaps in only three games. According to Vic Tafur of The Athletic, the remaining guaranteed money in Renfrow’s contract prevented any teams from fully following through on their interest in the veteran receiver. With Renfrow staying put and the many sources shooting down reports of wide receiver Davante Adams wanting out of Vegas, according to Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Raiders stood pat at the trade deadline.

Russini’s Latest: Broncos, Jets, Eagles

Dianna Russini of The Athletic has been especially prolific with respect to trade deadline reporting. As we approach the October 31 cutoff, here are a few of Russini’s latest updates from around the league (subscription required):

  • Broncos wide receivers Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy have once again featured prominently in this year’s trade rumors. However, a deal has never felt imminent, and none of the current offers that Denver has received have come close to the club’s asking price. One general manager who has spoken with the Broncos told Russini that the team is not “selling cheaply.” Russini confirms previous reports indicating that cornerback Patrick Surtain is not available, despite understandable outside interest in his services.
  • We heard yesterday that the Bills could be looking to move 2022 first-rounder Kaiir Elam, and Russini reports that Buffalo is looking into cornerback additions. She does not say so specifically, but it could be that the Bills are looking for a replacement for Elam, who has not yet lived up to his draft status.
  • Rich Cimini of confirms that Jets GM Joe Douglas is willing to move running back Dalvin Cook and edge defender Carl Lawson, especially after both players recently expressed frustration with their current roles. Unsurprisingly, though, Russini reports that Douglas is not getting many calls on either player. Lawson is a healthy scratch for today’s game against the Giants.
  • Echoing her report from earlier this month, Russini writes that the Cardinals are still not looking to trade wideout Marquise Brown, even though they have received trade interest in the contract-year speedster.
  • They might be low on cap space, and they might have already made one significant trade acquisition in safety Kevin Byard, but Russini says the Eagles are still looking to buy and are interested in a linebacker. The 49ers are also working the phones and have interest in an edge rusher and a cornerback.
  • Unlike the Eagles and Niners, the Chiefs, Falcons, and Texans are among the clubs that are expected to stand down at the deadline.

Trade Rumors: Packers, Smith, Byard, Raiders, Broncos, Jeudy, Sutton, Rams

Attached to his second Packers contract, Preston Smith is signed through 2026. During a 2022 offseason in which the Packers released Za’Darius Smith, they reupped Preston Smith on a four-year, $52.5MM pact. With the team going through considerable change since that point, the soon-to-be 31-year-old outside linebacker is a name being tossed around in scouting circles ahead of the Oct. 31 deadline, Jason La Canfora of the Washington Post notes. It would cost the Packers just more than $4MM in dead money to trade Smith before the deadline, and the team has a clear extension candidate on the edge in Rashan Gary. Green Bay also used the No. 13 overall pick on pass rusher Lukas Van Ness in April.

In his fifth year with the Packers, Smith has two sacks and five QB hits. Smith posted 17.5 sacks between the 2021 and ’22 seasons, however. His contract would not be difficult for a team to absorb, with a March restructure knocking the 2023 salary to $1.17MM. No guaranteed money remains on the deal post-2023.

With five days remaining until trades are shut down for the year, here is the latest on potential moves:

  • Kevin Byard refused a Titans pay-cut request this offseason, later agreeing to a resolution that helped the Titans afford DeAndre Hopkins. Even as the Titans fell to 2-4, the eighth-year safety did not request a trade, Terry McCormick of notes. Byard, 30, still wanted to finish his career with the Titans, per McCormick, who adds the Titans became receptive when the Eagles inquired on the All-Pro’s availability. The Eagles sent fifth- and sixth-round picks, along with safety Terrell Edmunds, to the Titans for Byard. While Byard is a Philly native, he has played his entire college and pro careers in Tennessee. Jon Robinson‘s first draft as Titans GM produced Byard in Round 3 out of Middle Tennessee State; Byard is signed through 2024.
  • On the wrong end of one of this season’s worst losses — a 30-12 rout at the hands of the Justin Fields-less Bears — the Raiders are 3-4. But the team is not shifting into sell mode just yet, with Tashan Reed of The Athletic indicating the team is still looking at buyer’s moves (subscription required). A pass rusher remains a clear target for the team, per Reed, though a move to separate from Hunter Renfrow continues to be circulated. The Raiders used the No. 7 overall pick on Tyree Wilson, but their plan of grooming the Texas Tech alum behind Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones combusted after Jones’ messy saga led to an arrest (and later a second arrest) before a release from the NFI list. Wilson has one sack so far, and Crosby remains the only Raider with more than 1.5 this season.
  • While could certainly be classified as posturing, the Broncos are not committed to moving one of their receivers before the deadline. Trade targets before last year’s deadline as well, Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton came up frequently as trade chips this offseason. Should Denver not receive a substantial offer, The Athletic’s Nick Kosmider notes the team is fine moving forward with each and continuing to build on an offensive improvement after last season’s disaster. Jeudy, who is tied to a $12.99MM fifth-year option salary in 2024, has been viewed as more likely to be moved. But his value has dropped compared to where it was this offseason, which could put the Broncos to a big-picture decision. Sutton, whose $15MM-per-year contract runs through 2025, has been more effective in Sean Payton‘s offense. Although the Broncos will drop to 2-6 if they lose yet again to the Chiefs this week, it is far from a lock the team trades one of its wideouts.
  • Rumblings about the Rams going back to the buyer’s well surfaced recently, but The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue indicates the team is not expected to be a notable player before the deadline. Sean McVay said recently the team would likely stand down this year, which will be a letdown for headline-driving purposes, considering what the Rams have done at past McVay-era trade deadlines.

Broncos, Colts Discussed Jerry Jeudy; Courtland Sutton Less Likely To Be Dealt?

One of the NFL’s trade-rumor fixtures over the past two years, Jerry Jeudy may be in his final days with the Broncos. The 1-5 team is believed to be open for business on several players, and the 2020 first-round pick’s name continues to come up.

The Colts have been connected to Jeudy during this season’s first half, with’s Stephen Holder noting the Broncos called the AFC South team on the fourth-year wide receiver and other players earlier this season. The Colts expressed minimal interest, per Holder, and the longtime Indianapolis reporter doubts a deal will come to pass.

Conversely, 9News’ Mike Klis adds it was the Colts who contacted the Broncos on Jeudy and others. While it appears quite clear the two AFC teams spoke on possible trades, Indianapolis having shut down Anthony Richardson may make a move less likely for a team coming off a one-sided loss in Jacksonville.

The Colts have Michael Pittman Jr. in a contract year, and after paying Jonathan Taylor, the team’s plans with the former second-round pick are unclear. Pittman is prepared to depart in 2024, should the organization not view him as a core piece any longer. Indy also used a second-round pick on Alec Pierce last year and a third-rounder on slot target Josh Downs. Pierce has just 149 receiving yards through six games, while Downs (276) is faring better in Shane Steichen‘s offense. Jeudy has shown the ability to play both in the slot and outside in Denver, but the shifty route runner has not been an especially consistent weapon despite his profile.

Indy would make some sense as a Jeudy suitor, but this may not be the right time for the team to buy. But Richardson’s rookie contract would give the Colts flexibility on the talented but inconsistent wideout’s $12.99MM fifth-year option salary. Teams are believed to be hesitant on picking up that fully guaranteed sum, providing a potential impediment toward the Broncos moving Jeudy.

Compensation represents another roadblock. The Broncos are believed to have sought a second-round pick ahead of last year’s deadline but bumped up their price to a first during Sean Payton‘s first offseason in charge. With Jeudy’s 222 receiving yards third on this year’s Denver iteration, a first-rounder never seemed remotely possible. In fact, multiple teams informed ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler that they would be reluctant to part with a Day 2 pick for Jeudy. However, others indicated a late third-rounder could be on the table due to the talent Jeudy has shown in spurts.

Eleven days away from the 2023 deadline, it looks like Jeudy is the more likely Broncos wideout to be dealt. Courtland Sutton has come up frequently in trade talks, though not as often as the younger Broncos receiver, but Fowler and Fox Sports’ Ralph Vacchiano note Jeudy is more likely to be the receiver Denver moves.

The Broncos placed a second-round price on Sutton this offseason, but the 28-year-old target is attached to a $14MM base salary. Jeudy is tied to a $2.68MM base, though his 2024 salary does complicate matters. Sutton is signed through 2025, with nonguaranteed salaries of $13MM and $13.5MM in place past this year. The 6-foot-4 starter’s deal would seemingly be harder to move, but the Broncos’ George Paton-era willingness to eat the bulk of trade chips’ salaries to facilitate deals — as they did with Von Miller and Randy Gregory — could conceivably be a factor with Sutton or other trade pieces on veteran contracts.

The Broncos continue to be viewed as open for business on most of their players. Mentioned as unlikely to be moved earlier this month, Patrick Surtain remains a near-certainty to stay in Colorado past the deadline. Fowler adds NFL personnel laughed at the notion the All-Pro cornerback could be available. While Surtain (whose contract will run through 2025 once the Broncos exercise his fifth-year option) will almost definitely not be on the move, the Broncos will likely make others available. Names like Justin Simmons and Garett Bolles have circulated as options, though Jeudy remains the centerpiece item based on buzz from the 2022 deadline and this offseason.

Trade Candidates: Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton

Another slow start in Denver has brought about the latest round of trade talks involving the struggling team. Although Randy Gregory went for this season’s trendy low-end trade package — player/seventh for a sixth — and Frank Clark surfaced as a trade chip before being released, the Broncos’ top two wide receivers are again at the center of the trade rumors surrounding the team. With the Broncos at 1-5, they are likely not done moving pieces for draft capital.

In their third full season together, Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton have each spent multiple Octobers in trade rumors. Sutton signed a four-year, $60MM extension in October 2021 but surfaced as a potential trade piece ahead of last year’s deadline. Jeudy, who remains attached to a first-round rookie contract, generated far more interest going into the 2022 deadline.

Teams called the Broncos about Jeudy and Sutton last season, but GM George Paton stood down on both. With the presumed goal of the duo helping a retooled offense around Russell Wilson in 2023, the Broncos held onto their top weapons. While this season has not produced the offensive disaster 2022 did, the Broncos are still not where they want to be on that side of the ball. And both receivers have again come up in potential deals, as the Broncos are believed to be willing to listen on just about anyone not named Patrick Surtain.

The Broncos informed at least two teams — the Cowboys and Giants — their Jeudy pursuit was not sufficient to make a move. Denver was connected to wanting a second-round pick at that point, but this offseason, the now-Sean Payton-run team placed a first-round price on the 2020 first-round pick. Teams understandably balked at that, and Jeudy came into the season as the team’s expected top target. Success has largely eluded the shifty wideout, who has drawn criticism from former players for his unremarkable performance. Through five games (after missing Week 1 with a hamstring injury), Jeudy has just 20 receptions for 222 yards and no touchdowns.

Sutton’s 275 yards and four TD receptions lead the Broncos, and the team did not hold out for a first-round pick in exchange for the former second-rounder this offseason. Denver sought a second-round pick for Sutton, whose $15MM-per-year contract runs through 2025. The Ravens appeared close to making a deal in March, but talks slowed and the team pivoted to a $15MM guarantee for Odell Beckham Jr. While Baltimore’s OBJ signing has not panned out to this point, Sutton is highly unlikely to fetch a second-round pick. Jeudy will not score a first-rounder for the Broncos, and teams may be balking at the Alabama alum’s fully guaranteed $12.99MM 2024 option salary.

A 2018 draftee who developed behind former Denver dynamic duo Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, Sutton has a 1,000-yard season under his belt. That came back in 2019, with a Joe FlaccoBrandon AllenDrew Lock QB platter targeting the 6-foot-4 receiver. Even as the Broncos’ offense cratered to last place under Nathaniel Hackett, Jeudy posted 972 yards and finished the season strong, recording three 100-yard games in his final five.

Unavailability has largely defined the Broncos’ 2020s receiver blueprint. Sutton suffered an ACL tear in Week 2 of the 2020 season, starting a pattern of injuries that kept the Broncos from fully deploying their planned wideout array together. A reliable target in 2020 and 2021, Tim Patrick also signed an extension in November of ’21 (three years, $30MM) but the 6-4 possession target has suffered ACL and Achilles tears during the past two training camps. The injuries obviously leave the former UDFA’s Broncos future in doubt. Patrick’s injury came after KJ Hamler ran into another health issue, seeing a heart problem lead to a cut. While the Broncos left the door open to the former second-rounder returning, Hamler is now on the Colts’ practice squad. Jeudy has missed 10 career games.

Denver followed up one of the best receiver eras in franchise history — a five-season Thomas-Sanders partnership that involved lucrative extensions sandwiching the team’s Super Bowl 50 win — with what has amounted to a letdown. Payton has been unable to coax steady production from either thus far, and moving one of them appears likely — especially if losses continue ahead of the Oct. 31 deadline. A trade would open up more playing time for second-round pick Marvin Mims, who has shown flashes as a deep threat. The Broncos have not used the Payton-era pickup too often, however, playing him on just 97 snaps thus far. Mims’ 246 receiving yards still top Jeudy’s output.

Jeudy, 24, is tied to a $2.68MM base salary this year. Sutton, 28, is attached to a $14MM base that will be much harder to move. Under Paton, the Broncos have shown a willingness to eat salary to facilitate trades. The Broncos paid all but the prorated veteran minimum to move Von Miller in 2021 (for second- and third-round picks) and did the same to send out Gregory earlier this season. Denver has also been this period’s most notable seller, having dealt Thomas in 2018 (to the Texans, for a fourth-round pick), Sanders in 2019 (to the 49ers, for third- and fourth-rounders) and Bradley Chubb (to the Dolphins, for first- and fourth-rounders, along with Chase Edmonds).

Keeping viable receivers in place to help Wilson may no longer be a concern for the Broncos, who will undoubtedly consider moving on from the underwhelming trade acquisition — via a record-setting dead-money charge, even in a post-June 1 cut scenario — in 2024. But the team’s offseason asking prices for Jeudy and Sutton will probably not be met. Both players do not appear part of Payton’s long-term plan, and each would probably be more interesting on a contender with a better offensive setup.

The Broncos will need to determine how much below asking price they will be willing to go to move on from the pillars of a promising but ultimately disappointing receiving cast. The team has less than two weeks to decide.

Broncos To Release OLB Frank Clark

OCTOBER 13: Unlike the Gregory last call, no trade partner emerged here. The Broncos are officially releasing Clark on Friday,’s Tom Pelissero tweets. With the trade deadline still nearly three weeks away, Clark’s vested-veteran status will send him straight to free agency. Inactive for Thursday night’s game, the ninth-year veteran closes his Denver tenure with 36 defensive snaps.

OCTOBER 12: The Broncos opened the season with two 2015 second-rounders residing as their highest-profile edge rushers. By Week 7, both are likely to be out of the picture. After the Broncos dealt Randy Gregory to the 49ers, they are eyeing a separation from Frank Clark.

Rumored to be a trade candidate, Clark will not face the Chiefs tonight due to what the Broncos’ injury report classifies as an illness. The Broncos, however, are preparing to move on from Clark — via trade or release — in the near future, Field Yates of reports.

Clark, 30, restructured his one-year, $5MM contract recently, per Yates, giving up $1.69MM in guaranteed salary. The move trims Clark’s $3.5MM base salary to the prorated veteran minimum ($841K),’s Mike Garafolo adds. This restructure will make Clark’s contract easier to move. Clark returned to action last week against the Jets, coming back after sustaining a groin injury in practice. Holding him out of tonight’s game will protect against a reinjury.

The former Seahawks and Chiefs edge rusher has generated some trade interest, and after the Gregory move, had been viewed as available. While Clark notched two double-digit sack seasons in Seattle and made memorable contributions during Kansas City’s playoff runs, he does not have a sack or a QB hit in his limited Denver run.

Although Clark will become an interesting hired gun of sorts moving forward, he spent several weeks in free agency waiting for other edge dominoes to fall. Leonard Floyd‘s one-year, $7MM Bills pact led to the Broncos giving Clark a one-year, $5MM deal shortly after they made Brandon McManus a post-June 1 cut. On that note, the Broncos should not expect too much in trade compensation here. Though, reducing Clark’s salary to the minimum will certainly help on that front. Denver collected a 2024 sixth-rounder from San Francisco for Gregory, whom the team was prepared to cut.

After calling out Gregory for poor effort in a 70-20 demolition at the Dolphins’ hands in Week 3, the Broncos benched him and moved 2022 second-round pick Nik Bonitto into the lineup. Bonitto is on a tear as a starter, combining for 4.5 sacks over the past two games. The Broncos have used 2021 seventh-round pick Jonathon Cooper (three sacks) as a starter since Week 1, with Clark coming off the bench in the team’s opener. Baron Browning, a 2021 third-rounder whom the team converted from inside linebacker last year, remains on the reserve/PUP list and will not play tonight. But Browning is likely on track to debut in Week 7, Denver7’s Troy Renck adds.

Deteriorating fits notwithstanding, a suddenly woeful Broncos defense could probably use Gregory and Clark — at least while Browning is out. These separations signal more moves are likely coming for a 1-4 team. While Sean Payton stopped short of saying the Broncos were shopping veterans, other clubs believe they are open for business ahead of the Oct. 31 deadline. Trade-rumor mainstays Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton are likely returning to the news cycle, with Renck adding Justin Simmons and Kareem Jackson are two other names to monitor.

Clark sits behind only Willie McGinest and Bruce Smith in postseason sacks, with 13.5, but he did not live up to the five-year, $104MM deal the Chiefs gave him following a 2019 tag-and-trade transaction. Clark topped out at eight sacks in a season and has not tallied more than six in a single campaign since 2019. Two arrests on gun charges in 2021 led to a two-game suspension last year, and the Chiefs cut him this offseason. Still, Clark figures to land in a contending team’s pass-rushing rotation soon.

The Broncos picked up the pieces after John Elway‘s 1999 retirement far more quickly than they have post-Peyton Manning, and the years since the latter’s 2016 exit led to Denver becoming this period’s most prolific deadline seller. After dealing Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Von Miller and Bradley Chubb over the past five years, it appears the Broncos will keep going as Payton attempts to build for the future. Jeudy and Simmons are signed through 2024, with Jeudy’s fifth-year option ($12.99MM) fully guaranteed. Sutton’s four-year, $60MM deal runs through 2025; Jackson is on a one-year contract.