Courtland Sutton

Latest On Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton

As it stands now, the Broncos will not make a draft pick until early in the third round. Denver holds the Nos. 67 and 68 overall choices, having traded out of the first round (twice) and second.

The team, which dealt its top two 2023 draft choices for Russell Wilson and unloaded the pick it obtained for Bradley Chubb — No. 29 overall — for Sean Payton, has fielded calls on Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton. Payton said both players are in the team’s plans, after high trade prices emerged for each. When asked about Jeudy, GM George Paton confirmed the former first-round pick will be back.

We’re high — really high — on Jerry. We don’t anticipate doing anything with Jerry,” Paton said regarding a potential Jeudy trade, via Denver7’s Troy Renck. “Jerry finished the season strong — the last five games, he had over 500 yards. He was one of the top receivers in the league. We like Jerry, and he’s going to be here.”

While this does not shut down the prospect of the Broncos dealing the John Elway-era investment, the team moving its best wide receiver ahead of a critical Wilson season has always been a risky proposition. Jeudy, 24 on Monday, finished with a career-high 972 receiving yards and six touchdowns last season. The Broncos have wanted a first-round pick in a prospective trade; it is fairly clear no team has offered that.

That said, Paton did not confirm the team would pick up Jeudy’s fifth-year option. Because Jeudy has not made a Pro Bowl, the Alabama alum would be in line for a $14.12MM fully guaranteed 2024 salary if the Broncos exercised the option. They have until May 2 to do so. Not indicating they will pick up the option does leave the door open to the Broncos trading Jeudy — and letting his next team decide on the option — but that trail has been cold for weeks.

The Ravens discussed Sutton with the Broncos earlier this offseason, and The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec notes the teams looked to be far along toward a potential trade (subscription required). But the Broncos backed out of the talks. Baltimore has since signed Odell Beckham Jr., giving the eight-year veteran a $15MM guarantee. Sutton is due a $14MM base salary this year; that figure is guaranteed. The Broncos have wanted a second-round pick for Sutton, whom Paton extended (on a four-year, $60MM deal) during the 2021 season.

It is unclear exactly when the Ravens-Broncos talks neared a potential deal; Payton expressed support for both to be back March 26. It will not be safe to lock in Jeudy or Sutton as Broncos until next Friday, when the second round of the draft begins. But the Payton-Paton tandem has kept pointing to both starters returning.

Denver is on track to have Tim Patrick back from a training camp ACL tear; the possession receiver has received full clearance for football activities. The Broncos gave both Patrick and Sutton extensions just before the 2022 offseason led to a market shift at the position, but 2021 represents the only window in which both joined Jeudy as healthy. Jeudy also suffered a high ankle sprain that season, shelving him for several games. The Broncos, who lost Sutton to an ACL tear in 2020, have been unable to keep ex-second-rounder KJ Hamler on the field as well. Hamler sustained a partial pectoral tear recently and will be sidelined for months.

The team did bring in Marquez Callaway, who played for Payton in New Orleans, and was in on free agents Allen Lazard and Adam Thielen. One of the latter two signing would have created a crowded receiver room. As of now, however, the Broncos are mostly rolling with their holdover receivers. Will a move by Day 2 of the draft change the equation?

DeAndre Hopkins Interested In Joining Contender; Ravens In On Cardinals WR, Others

DeAndre Hopkins continues to linger on the trade block. The Cardinals are setting a high price for the former All-Pro target, but they have also made calls to teams in an effort to shop the 11th-year wideout around to potentially interested parties.

This week at the league meetings, the new Cardinals HC discussed a future in which Hopkins stays in Arizona. While Jonathan Gannon saying the organization was done with the talented pass catcher would have been a newsier development, the rookie HC can still see an offense with the trade chip back in the fold.

Right now, I’m operating under the premise Hop is our starting X and people are going to have to defend him,” Gannon said, via’s Darren Urban. “That’s probably a better question for Monti [Ossenfort] but [Hopkins] has been great and I am looking forward to working with him.”

Hopkins’ $19.45MM 2023 base salary and $29.99MM cap hit are driving the Cards’ trade effort, with the team’s new regime being in place an obvious factor here as well. Gannon also referred to Hopkins as a valuable asset. That certainly could mean in a trade as well as on the field. Hopkins, 30, also wants to land with a contending team,’s Armando Salguero notes, and may also want another extension as part of his trade agreement.

An extension would allow for the acquiring team to reduce Hopkins’ 2023 numbers, which are borderline untenable — at least at the Cardinals’ compensation ask. Arizona has sought a second-round pick and change for Hopkins, but no reports have indicated a team is willing to send over a trade package on that level. Hopkins’ 2022 PED suspension voided his no-trade clause, which stands to open more doors for the Cardinals. He is also amenable to reworking his contract to facilitate a trade, having hired an agent recently.

Absent an immediate extension agreement, teams want the Cardinals to eat some of Hopkins’ money on the way out, Dan Graziano of notes. As it stands now, the Cardinals would already incur $21.1MM in dead money by trading Hopkins before June 1. Though, agreeing to take on more would improve the pick value here. The Broncos (Von Miller) and Bears (Robert Quinn) have done this to improve the draft compensation coming their way in recent trades, and considering how frequent the Hopkins trade rumors have come up this offseason, it should not be ruled out the retooling Cards will follow this blueprint as well.

The Patriots have looked into Hopkins, but ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler adds the assumed awkwardness in the team having hired ex-Texans HC Bill O’Brien as OC will indeed be an impediment to this particular trade scenario. O’Brien was working as Houston’s de facto GM when Hopkins was traded to Arizona. The Cards’ price has also steered the Pats away from Hopkins. The Bills and Chiefs have also looked into Hopkins. The Ravens can now be added as a suitor, with Fowler adding they have checked on Hopkins and Courtland Sutton. The Broncos want at least a second-round pick for Sutton. Based on Sean Payton‘s most recent stance of retaining both Sutton and Jerry Jeudy, it does not seem Denver has received offers on the level it seeks.

Baltimore has signed Nelson Agholor, but the team (via The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec) will be targeting more to bolster its long-limited receiving corps. Odell Beckham Jr. is also on the Ravens’ radar, having met with team brass at the league meetings this week. The Ravens have Rashod Bateman and Devin Duvernay coming off major foot injuries; Bateman has missed extensive time in each of his two seasons. The Ravens created a need at the position during the 2022 draft, when they sent Marquise Brown to the Cardinals.

This push for a wideout is not a Lamar Jackson-dependent pursuit, Fowler adds; the Ravens want a receiver upgrade whether the former MVP is still on the roster or not. Based on teams’ caution regarding a Jackson offer sheet, the Ravens should still have a decent chance of patching matters up with the superstar QB.

Broncos Sought Second-Round Pick For Courtland Sutton; Jackson, Murray On Radar

Sean Payton did his best to confirm, despite persistent trade rumors, Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton would be part of the Broncos’ equation in 2023. The team has long been linked to wanting a first-round pick for Jeudy; its ask on Sutton was (is?) not far off.

Denver wanted a second-round pick in exchange for Sutton, Mike Klis of 9News reports. A former Pro Bowler, Sutton has shown flashes of high-end play. The Broncos’ years-long quarterback issue has held both Jeudy and Sutton back, and the latter is attached to what has become midlevel money at the position. This and the receiver trade market not being what it was in 2022 has generated Sutton buzz.

But Sutton is also four years older than Jeudy; the SMU product is going into his age-28 season. The 6-foot-4 wideout is attached to a $14MM base salary in 2023. Sutton has manageable cap hits, considering the receiver market’s explosion in the months after he signed his $15MM-per-year extension in fall 2021, but that salary is lofty for teams to consider parting with a second-round choice.

The Broncos should not be viewed as dead-set against trading one of their starting wide receivers, though the Browns and Cowboys — each a Jeudy suitor — have moved on. The Patriots and Giants also were in on Jeudy at various points since last year’s trade deadline. Sutton’s market has been quieter, but the Broncos — due to the Payton and Russell Wilson trades — do not pick until the third round. Payton said this component has brought teams to inquire about the team’s top receivers; the new Broncos HC added that he does not view this coming wideout draft class as particularly impressive.

Another player who could be part of Denver’s 2023 offense: Latavius Murray, who figured to remain on the radar due to Payton’s ties with him. Broncos GM George Paton, while expressing that new signing Samaje Perine will be the team’s go-to guy if Javonte Williams (ACL) is not ready to start the season, said (via the Denver Gazette’s Chris Tomasson) the team still likes Murray.

The former Raiders 1,000-yard rusher came in and played effectively for the Broncos, his fifth NFL team. Murray, 33, led the Broncos with 703 rushing yards, even as he arrived just ahead of Week 6. While Kareem Hunt remains available, Murray’s Saints past and undoubtedly lower asking price compared to the former rushing champion opens the door to another Broncos deal.

The Broncos have another 30-something on the radar to stay. Kareem Jackson has signed three Broncos contracts; the team has not ruled out a fourth. Paton added (via Klis) the Broncos have been in contact with the veteran DB’s representatives.

Jackson, who signed a three-year deal worth $33MM in 2019, has been a Denver safety starter over the past four seasons. Next season would be Jackson’s age-35 slate, but he has started 61 games for the Broncos. Jackson did arrive just after Vance Joseph‘s first Denver tenure wrapped, and the team has rookie-contract safety Caden Sterns as a potential option opposite Justin Simmons. But Jackson has signed for less money on each of his most recent deals. He took a pay cut from $5MM to $2MM in 2022.

Broncos HC Sean Payton Insists Team Will Not Trade WRs Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton

Throughout the early offseason, rumors have run rampant concerning two of the Broncos’ most promising assets. Denver fielded calls before last year’s trade deadline from several teams seeking to acquire wide receivers Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton. Despite the existing interest, new head coach Sean Payton assured the media today that they have no intentions of dealing Jeudy or Sutton.

Trade interest in the two young wideouts began last season as needy teams were looking to add some weapons for a playoff run. Although it became clear that the Broncos weren’t shopping the two players two weeks ago, teams have still been calling to inquire about their availability.

At the annual league meetings, Payton chose to address the situation quite plainly. “I see and read like everyone else does,” Payton told NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. “Then occasionally, when someone really crowds the plate, I throw a fastball right at their chin, and they back up, and they’re like, ‘Alright.’ And so I haven’t thrown any fastballs lately, but we’re not trading those two players.”

For those confused by Payton’s baseball analogy, the new Denver head coach is saying that if anyone was pushing too hard for Jeudy or Sutton, he would make sure they received the message of their unavailability. Apparently, that hasn’t been necessary, so far.

“When people call and the phone rings like it does this time of year, [general manager] George Paton‘s job is to pick it up and say, ‘Hey. Tell you what, we’re not,'” Payton continued. “And so, we’ve received calls, you bet. Those are two good football players. But we’re in the business of gathering talent right now. Why do people call? Because they know we’re void of draft picks and that we might, because there was some discussions a year ago, I think, regarding Courtland. But we like the current group we’re working with.”

So, it looks like Denver will be moving forward with those top-two weapons for quarterback Russell Wilson. Under new leadership and with the return of a strong third option in Tim Patrick, the Broncos’ offense is hoping to look different than they did in 2022 with a similar roster. Payton intends to keep Sutton and Jeudy around.

Broncos Pursued Adam Thielen, Allen Lazard; Jerry Jeudy Still Drawing Trade Interest

MARCH 26: Jeff Howe of The Athletic (subscription required) reiterates earlier reports that the Broncos are seeking a first-round pick in a Jeudy trade, with Troy Renck of Denver 7 tweeting that the club is holding firm on that demand. Doug Kyed of hears that Jeudy may be a more realistic trade option than Hopkins, but Denver’s insistence on a first-rounder in exchange for Jeudy could be an indication that the team does not really want to move him.

League sources tell Howe that Denver’s asking price for Sutton remains too high as well, so although the Broncos’ interest in free agent pass catchers does suggest that Payton & Co. are perhaps willing to make some changes to their receiver room, it is clear that a club that wants Jeudy or Sutton is going to need to make an especially aggressive offer.

Indeed, Cabot reports that the Browns never got close to landing Jeudy. Cleveland was prepared to deal the No. 42 overall pick in this year’s draft — the same pick that it used to acquire Elijah Moore from the Jets — but the team would have also needed to include a talented player or another high selection in the 2024 draft, and even that may not have been enough.

MARCH 22: While reports of the Broncos’ plans to keep Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton keep emerging, the again-retooling team’s starting wide receivers continue to come up in trade rumors. Denver’s pursuits of other wide receivers in free agency may provide a hint to Sean Payton‘s plans at the position.

Adam Thielen said the Broncos and Cowboys joined the Panthers in pursuing him in free agency, David Newton of notes, while The Score’s Jordan Schultz adds the team made an aggressive push for Allen Lazard before he signed with the Jets (Twitter link).

As the Broncos potentially helped drive up the prices for Thielen and Lazard, who respectively received $14MM and $22MM fully guaranteed, the subject will shift back to their holdover receivers. Denver rosters a former first-round pick (Jeudy), two outside receivers on veteran deals (Sutton, Tim Patrick) and a second-round deep threat who has battled steady injury problems (KJ Hamler). Given the team’s pursuits of outside help at the position, it can be assumed Payton wants to shake up this position, which has not seen major augmentations since the Jeudy and Hamler selections three years ago.

Count the Browns as a team in on Jeudy. While the Broncos want a first-round pick for Jeudy, Mary Kay Cabot of notes the Browns have not given up on a pursuit despite their lack of a first-round selection this year. The Broncos are not truly keeping Jeudy off the market, Cabot adds, as they are willing to part with the fourth-year receiver for a strong offer.

The Cowboys look to be off the table for Jeudy, after they acquired Brandin Cooks, but teams like the Giants and Patriots have previously looked into the talented pass catcher. While DeAndre Hopkins is willing to rework his contract, the Cardinals wideout’s through-2024 deal would be more expensive to acquire than Jeudy’s. A modest fifth-year option price can extend Jeudy’s rookie deal through 2024. With some teams still look for receiving help during an offseason that brought an unremarkable free agency crop and looks to feature a lesser group of prospects in the draft, Jeudy’s name will carry value in the weeks leading up to the draft.

The Browns have Amari Cooper tied to his Cowboys-constructed $20MM-per-year deal. Although the team restructured Cooper’s contract last year, his cap numbers sit at $23.8MM in 2023 and ’24. The team also restructured Deshaun Watson‘s deal, ballooning his 2024-26 cap numbers to record-obliterating figures while dropping his 2023 hit to $19.1MM. The Browns hold just more than $10MM in cap space. Jeudy would fit alongside Cooper and Donovan Peoples-Jones in Cleveland; the latter is going into a contract year but produced his best season in 2022.

Denver’s wideouts have yet to put it together. Quarterback play, injuries and last year’s disjointed offense have played a major role in Jeudy and Sutton’s inconsistency. But the team’s pursuits of Thielen and Lazard will not quiet the rumblings that either Jeudy or Sutton could be on the move ahead of the draft. Sutton and Patrick’s skillsets overlap, and Thielen and Lazard also qualify as possession targets. Jeudy’s route-running chops and elusiveness differ from both the incumbent targets and the recent free agents, but at 23, he would fetch the Broncos the best haul.

The Broncos, they of no first- or second-round pick this year, continue to be faced with a choice of retaining a promising wide receiver — one who would stand to move the needle as Payton attempts to reignite Russell Wilson — or moving on in exchange for vital 2023 draft capital.

Teams Calling Broncos On Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton; WRs Not Being Shopped

The Broncos’ attempt to upgrade their offense around Russell Wilson and Nathaniel Hackett faceplanted in 2022, and during that tumble, teams contacted the struggling AFC West squad about its starting wide receivers. The Broncos shut down those inquiries, but teams are now again wondering about their availability.

Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton have prompted calls from multiple teams this offseason, Dianna Russini of tweets. Both are starters on manageable contracts, and each can be kept through 2024. As such, the Broncos informed the interested teams they are not shopping either player.

Sean Payton is now running the Broncos, alongside GM George Paton. Jeudy and Sutton were John Elway-era investments, the former arriving as a 2020 first-round pick and the latter joining the team — as a 2018 second-rounder — during Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders‘ tenure together. Neither has been consistently productive, though both have put together lengthy stretches. Injuries and Denver’s quarterback situation has hindered each, with 2022’s all-fronts disaster leading to struggles as well. Even as the Broncos ranked last in scoring, however, Jeudy 972 receiving yards and Sutton compiled 829.

Sutton signed a four-year, $60MM extension during the 2021 season; that deal runs through 2025. The wideout market exploded in the months after Sutton signed. Jeudy’s rookie deal runs through 2023, and the Broncos should be expected to pick up his fifth-year option for 2024. That decision is due by May. Denver also has Tim Patrick and KJ Hamler on its payroll, but neither would carry the trade value on the level of Jeudy or Sutton. Jeudy received more trade interest last year — the Cowboys made an offer, and the Giants also pursued the Alabama alum — though Paton confirmed both generated interest.

Although Sutton sent out a tweet seemingly pertaining to his Broncos status Friday, indications are he is not going anywhere. But the Broncos making him available could help them in terms of draft capital. The team understandably held off on dealing away Wilson’s top two targets last fall, expecting a bounce-back showing from the QB in 2023, but it has since parted with its 2023 first-round pick (for Payton). It lacks a second-rounder as well, due to the Wilson trade.

Denver entertaining a receiver trade would come as teams prepare offers for what is viewed as a mediocre free agent class and as the Chargers and Bengals have shut down trade overtures regarding their receivers. Keenan Allen and Tee Higgins are not available, per those teams’ GMs, pushing the likes of DeAndre Hopkins and Brandin Cooks to the top of the trade block at the position. Given the state of the wideout market, it is understandable teams are calling the Broncos. Barring a big offer, at least, the team looks prepared to have each work in Payton’s offense.

Injury Rumors: Ingram, Tagovailoa, Sutton, Joseph-Day

Saints running back Mark Ingram has likely seen his 2022 season come to an end, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The soon-to-be 33-year-old is set to tie a ribbon on his lowest single season of production in 12 seasons of NFL play.

Ingram suffered a slight MCL tear in the team’s Monday night loss to the Buccaneers. The injury usually requires a recovery period of around four to six weeks. With five weeks remaining in the season, it’s extremely unlikely that Ingram will find his way back to the field in the regular season. Despite the Saints currently sitting at last place in the NFC South at 4-9, they are only 2.5 games behind the first-place Buccaneers (6-6). If they can win some games and catch some good luck in the form of losses by their division rivals, New Orleans could still find itself in the playoffs as the NFC South champion. Otherwise, Ingram’s 2022 season is likely concluded.

Ingram returned to his longtime home of New Orleans after two years in Baltimore and half a season in Houston, accepting his No. 2 role in the lineup behind star running back Alvin Kamara. Ingram has served as a reliable second option in the backfield for the Saints, who will now have to turn to Dwayne Washington to fill that role.

Here are a few other injury rumors from around the league, starting with an MVP candidate looking to keep a strong season going:

  • Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa exited the team’s loss to the 49ers last week late in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury. Already down 33-17 at the time of the injury, there was no use in forcing the young quarterback back into play, although, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, he could’ve returned to the game, if necessary. The news is a good sign for the Dolphins and Tagovailoa as the injury is likely not significant. As of today, all signs are pointing to Tagovailoa being able to start Sunday night against the quarterback who was drafted one pick after him in the 2020 NFL Draft, Justin Herbert, and the Chargers.
  • The Broncos can’t seem to catch a break at the wide receiver position. Shortly after seeing starting wideout Jerry Jeudy return to the field against the Ravens last week, Denver saw its other starting wide receiver, Courtland Sutton, leave the game late in the second quarter with a hamstring injury, according to Parker Gabriel of The Denver Post. Sutton would sit out the rest of game with a noticeable limp. He’s also expected to be unavailable for the team’s matchup with the Chiefs this weekend, according to Mike Klis of 9NEWS. With Sutton and KJ Hamler out this week, the Broncos will continue to field a receiving corps that, after Jeudy, boasts the likes of Kendall Hinton, Brandon Johnson, Montrell Washington, and Jalen Virgil.
  • Chargers defensive lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day suffered a knee injury in this weekend’s loss to the division rival Raiders. Luckily, head coach Brandon Staley told the media that Joseph-Day likely avoided major injury and has been diagnosed with an MCL sprain, according to ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry. The team will continue to monitor the situation and will know more about his status in the next few days.

Giants, Others Called Broncos On Jerry Jeudy; Team Wanted Round 2 Pick?

This year’s wide receiver trade market included Jerry Jeudy, but the Broncos backed away from trading him. They instead unloaded Bradley Chubb for first- and fourth-round picks, along with Chase Edmonds. But teams showed interest in Jeudy, a former first-rounder.

Denver is believed to have wanted a second-rounder for Jeudy, Dan Duggan of The Athletic notes (subscription required). Broncos GM George Paton said several calls came in for Jeudy and the team’s other wide receivers, but the team — which has each of its top three wideouts under contract beyond 2022 — stood down. The Chubb market picked up considerably ahead of the deadline, but the Broncos had been leaning toward keeping Jeudy for a few days before NFL trading ceased.

We received a number of calls on our receivers, some other positions,” Paton said. “We wanted to keep our young, talented receivers. We started to get some rhythm in the last game vs. Jacksonville. We just feel good with where we’re going. We’re trending in the right direction with Jerry and [KJ] Hamler and Courtland [Sutton]. We didn’t want to break that up. I think we have a good thing going. We’re in it to win it moving forward, and so we kept all of our receivers.

Rumored to be interested, the Giants indeed called the Broncos on Jeudy, Ralph Vacchiano of Fox Sports adds. Addressing his team’s need at receiver, Giants GM Joe Schoen said “the price point just didn’t work out,” citing a desire to protect future draft picks. The Giants were interested in Jeudy and Brandin Cooks, though the latter’s big 2023 salary ($18MM) interrupted every team’s talks with the Texans, but were viewed as unlikely to part with more than a Day 3 pick for a wideout. Chase Claypool ended up being the only receiver — at least, among those eligible to play in 2022 — moved at the deadline, going from Pittsburgh to Chicago for a Round 2 choice.

The Broncos’ previous regime drafted Jeudy 15th overall. The Alabama alum (30 catches, 449 yards, three touchdowns in 2022) is on pace for a career-high receiving total, but he has also enjoyed an inconsistent career and has struggled with drops. Jeudy, 23, has four this season; Sutton has five. Coupled with Russell Wilson‘s struggles assimilating in Nathaniel Hackett‘s offense, the Broncos have run into rampant issues on that side of the ball.

Still, Denver moving forward with Jeudy makes sense. He is tied to his rookie contract through 2023, with a to-be-determined fifth-year option allowing the deal to be extended through 2024. While the Broncos have not lived up to offseason expectations, a true fire sale did not make much sense — especially at receiver. The team could finetune this group next year, but as of now, Wilson’s top four wideouts — Sutton, Jeudy, Hamler and Tim Patrick — are all under contract in 2023.

The Giants have a far less certain receiving corps — both this year and next. They traded Kadarius Toney to the Chiefs and have lost Sterling Shepard for the season. Kenny Golladay has missed much of this year with an MCL sprain, while Darius Slayton only recently re-emerged from Brian Daboll‘s doghouse. Shepard and Slayton are on expiring contracts, with Golladay a certain 2023 cap casualty. With Wan’Dale Robinson about the lone guaranteed receiving cog to be part of next year’s Giants, this will be a major offseason need.

Restructured Deals: Packers, Broncos, Bills, Patriots, Giants

As free agency continues, teams will keep finding ways to open up additional cap. We’ve had a handful of reworked contracts in recent days, which we’ve compiled below:

  • The Packers opened $10.15MM in cap space by restructuring the contracts of wideout Randall Cobb (which was previously reported) and safety Adrian Amos, per ESPN’s Field Yates (on Twitter). ESPN’s Rob Demovsky tweets that Green Bay turned $5.88MM of Amos’ $7MM base salary into a signing bonus and added four void years.
  • The Broncos opened up some space via a pair of restructured deals. Wideout Tim Patrick converted $6.9MM of his roster bonus into a signing bonus, creating around $4.6MM in cap space, per Mike Klis of 9News in Denver (on Twitter). The Broncos also converted receiver Courtland Sutton‘s $10.5MM roster bonus into a signing bonus, saving $7.875MM in 2022 cap space, per Klis (on Twitter).
  • The Panthers converted $11.765MM of wideout Robby Anderson’s 2022 pay into a signing bonus, creating $5.88MM in cap space, per Yates (on Twitter). Staying in the NFC, Yates also tweets that the Eagles converted $14.88MM of cornerback Darius Slay’s salary into a signing bonus, creating $11.90MM in 2022 cap space.
  • The Giants converted $2.63MM of kicker Graham Gano’s salary into a bonus, creating $1.753MM in cap space, per ESPN’s Jordan Raanan (on Twitter). The team also added a void year to the contract, something GM Joe Schoen was trying to avoid (per Raanan).
  • After getting traded to the Bills, quarterback Case Keenum agreed to rework his contract. Per Yates (on Twitter), Keenum reduced his base salary to $3.5MM. Another AFC East team, the Patriots, also got into the game, reducing defensive end Henry Anderson‘s base salary from $2.5MM to $1.25MM (per Yates).
  • Yates passes along three more restructures (on Twitter): the Vikings opened $6MM in cap space by reworking safety Harrison Smith‘s contract, the Bills opened $5.172MM via linebacker Matt Milano‘s contract, and the Titans opened $6.45MM via linebacker Zach Cunningham‘s contract.

Denver Emerging As Premier QB Destination

We wrote a bit earlier today on the Broncos being among multiple AFC teams who “have trade compensation lined up with the Packers,” in relation to quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Well, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Denver has emerged as a prime location for many of the league’s veteran quarterbacks looking for a potential change of scenery.

The Broncos recently hired former Packers’ offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett to replace Vic Fangio, who failed to accomplish a winning season in three years with the Broncos. The former Green Bay staffer represents an obvious and strong connection for Rodgers. Should Rodgers decide to move on from the Packers, having a play-caller that he’s familiar with could add some allure to the Mile High City. Another intriguing aspect that could bring a star quarterback to Denver is the addition of former Vikings’ offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak as passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach. Kubiak just helped Kirk Cousins turn in one of his best seasons in Minnesota.

Hackett and company inherit an impressive roster posed to perform. The defense is comprised of veterans like outside linebacker Bradley Chubb, safety Justin Simmons, defensive end Shelby Harris, and cornerback Ronald Darby. There are a number of free agents that Denver would like to bring back like cornerbacks Bryce Callahan & Kyle Fuller, defensive back Kareem Jackson, inside linebacker Josey Jewell, and outside linebacker Malik Reed. Even if they fail to bring some of those names back, the Broncos saw impressive seasons last year for youngsters like cornerback Patrick Surtain II, linebacker Baron Browning, defensive end Dre’Mont Jones, and safety Caden Sterns. The list of defensive players above may not overwhelm you with stardom, but, together, the Broncos defense ranked third in the league in points allowed and eighth in the league in yards allowed.

In addition to a brand new offense and stacked defense, Denver boasts a nice array of young offensive weapons. An impressive receiving corps is led by veteran 26-year-old Courtland Sutton, young star Jerry Jeudy, and Tim Patrick, who has broken out a bit over the past two seasons. The Broncos also have two talented, young receiving tight ends in Noah Fant and Albert Okwuegbunam. Any quarterback looking to join in on the fun would potentially have the benefit of a two-headed rushing attack that was 79 yards short of a combined 2,000-yard rushing season. Running back Javonte Williams enjoyed a healthy dose of carries in his rookie season, and there is mutual interest in bringing back Melvin Gordon.

Rodgers is obviously a name to keep an eye on as the decision on his future in Green Bay looms on the horizon. He has said that he will let the Packers know of his intentions before the franchise tag deadline so they can figure out how to deal with free agent wide receiver Davante Adams. In addition to Rodgers, though, keep an eye out for Denver to make moves on other quarterbacks searching for greener pastures. Russell Wilson has long been rumored to be interested in moving on from Seattle, and Deshaun Watson is still searching for a new home.

Whether Rodgers, Wilson, Watson, or some other under-the-radar name, look for the Broncos to make a move for a star quarterback. If they are able to find the right fit, the move could bring them into contention for what could easily turn into the toughest division in football.