Courtland Sutton

Checking In On Unresolved WR Situations

Wide receiver rumors continue to dominate the NFL’s post-minicamp quiet period. The shift atop the receiver market this offseason has complicated matters for other teams, while multiple clubs are also dealing with players attached to upper-middle-class accords.

With training camps less than a month away, here is a look at where the unresolved wideout situations stand:

Brandon Aiyuk, 49ers

This situation that has generated the most offseason rumors at the position; the 49ers-Aiyuk negotiations have dragged on for months. Progress has been scarce here, to the point Aiyuk requested a meeting to address his value and issues with the 49ers’ tactics during these talks. The Vikings’ Justin Jefferson extension has affected these conversations, with Aiyuk’s camp now seeking a full guarantee near the number ($88.7MM) the Minnesota superstar scored. AAV-wise, Aiyuk’s camp has been connected to pursuing a deal that matches or surpasses the $30.01MM number the Lions reached for Amon-Ra St. Brown. Aiyuk did not show for OTAs or minicamp.

Aiyuk, 26, is due a $14.12MM fifth-year option salary. His next step would be to hold out, risking $50K in per-day fines. The 49ers could waive them, as they did for Nick Bosa, since Aiyuk is on a rookie contract. That separates this situation from a few others here, and it is certainly possible the sides do not come together on a deal. Aiyuk not bringing down his guarantee request would run the risk of that happening.

While Aiyuk expects to be a 49er for a fifth season, the value gulf here — one partially created by the big-ticket deals other WRs have agreed to this offseason — threatens to prevent this situation from concluding smoothly like Deebo Samuel‘s did in 2022. The 49ers guaranteed Samuel $41MM at signing, illustrating how far the team and Aiyuk may be apart. Conversely, an agreement here — with the 49ers preparing for a Brock Purdy payday and having drafted Ricky Pearsall in Round 1 — would point to a 2025 Samuel trade. The 49ers discussed trades involving both their top wideouts, but John Lynch shut down those rumors post-draft.

Amari Cooper, Browns

The two-year Browns contributor joined Aiyuk in skipping minicamp, having seen his Cowboys-constructed contract fall in the pecking order (from second to 20th) due to the market booms of 2022 and 2024. Cooper signed a five-year deal, as the Cowboys prefer longer-term accords, in 2020 and missed out on cashing in as the market soared during the contract’s lifespan. Having played the lead role for a depleted Browns offense during an 11-6 2023 season, Cooper is aiming to score another payday ahead of his age-30 season.

Browns GM Andrew Berry identified Cooper as an extension candidate earlier this offseason, and Kevin Stefanski acknowledged talks have taken place. The Browns certainly had to assume they would be dealing with Cooper on the contract front once they gave trade pickup Jerry Jeudy a $41MM guarantee at signing (sixth among WRs). The ex-Bronco has yet to post a 1,000-yard season. Cooper has seven, though last season marked the older Alabama alum’s first 1,200-yard year.

With Deshaun Watson in Year 3 of a $230MM guaranteed extension, the Browns feature an unusual roster component. If Cooper were to hold out, the Browns would be unable to waive his $50K-per-day fines due to the 2015 first-rounder not being on a rookie contract.

As it stands, Cooper is tied to a $23.78MM cap number. Cleveland could reduce that with an extension, but Cooper’s age offers a slight complication. This does not appear an acrimonious dispute, and the sides are hoping for a pre-training camp resolution.

Tee Higgins, Bengals

This matter appears simpler, as Higgins has signed his $21.82MM franchise tender. Unlike Jessie Bates two years ago, Higgins is obligated to attend camp. The other eight players to receive a franchise or transition tag have signed extensions, each doing so several weeks ago. The Bengals have shown no indications they plan to extend their No. 2 wide receiver before the July 15 deadline, and while Higgins requested a trade, he has acknowledged he expects to remain in Cincinnati for the 2024 season. A trade could occur after the tag deadline, but the Bengals are highly unlikely — after resisting trade interest at the 2023 trade deadline — to move Higgins this year.

The Bengals and Higgins have discussed an extension for more than a year, and a modest offer — well south of $20MM per year — prompted the 6-foot-4 receiver to play out his fourth season. Gunning to dethrone the Chiefs and finish a mission they nearly accomplished in Super Bowl LVI, the Bengals tagged Higgins and are preparing to run back their standout receiver pair for a fourth year. If/once Higgins is tied to the tag this season, the sides cannot restart talks until January 2025. It is unclear if the Bengals would consider re-tagging Higgins next year, but the early word leans against this reality.

Joe Burrow‘s cap number spikes by $17MM between 2024 and 2025, moving past $46MM next year, and the Bengals have a receiver extension earmarked for Ja’Marr Chase. Though, Chase talks will be interesting after Jefferson’s guarantee figures surfaced.

Tyreek Hill, Dolphins

This is a rather unusual situation, but one that reminds of another Dolphins matter from recent years. Hill is tied to a four-year, $120MM extension; that deal runs through 2026. But the future Hall of Famer is already seeking a new contract. Teams rarely accommodate players with three years of team control remaining, due to the precedent it sets, but Hill has shown himself to be one of the top receivers of this era. He has delivered back-to-back first-team All-Pro offerings and has made a significant difference in Tua Tagovailoa‘s development. The Dolphins have not shut Hill down on this matter.

Hill, 30, is believed to have approached the Dolphins about an update before the St. Brown, Jefferson and A.J. Brown deals came to pass, but those contracts intensified the ninth-year veteran’s pursuit. Rather than a push for more guarantees on his current contract, Hill confirmed he is seeking a new deal. Teams are not big on giving back years to players, the Texans’ unusual move to lop three years off Stefon Diggs‘ contract notwithstanding, and agreeing on another extension — with customary guarantees — so soon would make for one of the more interesting decisions in this key chapter in WR history.

Dolphins GM Chris Grier has set a precedent on this front, giving in to Xavien Howard‘s demands for a new contract in 2022 despite being tied to a deal that covered three more seasons. The Dolphins have given Jaylen Waddle a big-ticket extension, one that is structured in a more player-friendly way than Hill’s backloaded $30MM-AAV pact. Signing deals that at the time broke the receiver AAV record, Hill and Davante Adams allowed their respective teams to insert phony final-year salaries — which almost definitely will not be paid out — to inflate the overall value.

No trade rumors have emerged here, as Hill wants to stay in Miami for his career’s remainder. Though, it will be interesting to see what comes out of these talks if the Dolphins decline Hill’s request this year. Hill is attached to a $31.23MM cap number.

CeeDee Lamb, Cowboys

The Vikings’ decision to authorize outlier guarantees for Jefferson probably affects the Cowboys most, as Lamb is also a 2020 first-round draftee who has shown himself to be one of the NFL’s best receivers. Lamb, 25, has been the centerpiece of the Cowboys’ passing attack since the team traded Amari Cooper — for salary purposes — in 2022. He is coming off a first-team All-Pro season — the first by a Dallas wideout since Dez Bryant in 2014 — and is tied to a $17.99MM fifth-year option figure. If Lamb does not land a new deal by training camp, he is prepared to follow Zack Martin‘s lead and hold out.

Dormant during the spring, Lamb extension talks are expected to pick up this summer. The Oklahoma alum’s interest in becoming the NFL’s highest-paid wideout veered toward shakier ground for the Cowboys following this offseason’s run of deals. The Cowboys not going through with a Lamb extension last year has certainly cost them, as Lamb’s camp has Jefferson’s guarantees to cite now. Dallas has not guaranteed a receiver more than $40MM at signing and typically holds the line on contracts spanning at least five years. Based on where the WR market has gone in terms of contract length, Lamb’s camp will likely make this a central issue in the sides’ negotiations.

Dallas not pushing this process past the goal line in 2023 has also created a situation in which Lamb and Dak Prescott are in contract years, a window that has opened just as Micah Parsons has become extension-eligible. The Cowboys are expected to first address their quarterback’s deal, which could be a tricky proposition due to Prescott’s tactics during his long-running extension talks earlier this decade, but a Lamb pact coming together by training camp is still in play. The Cowboys’ glut of extension candidates has created one of the more complicated contract situations in recent NFL history.

Courtland Sutton, Broncos

Checking in on a lower tier compared to the above-referenced receiver situations, Sutton continues to push for an update to his Denver deal. The Broncos have their top wide receiver attached to a four-year, $60MM extension that runs through 2025. Although just about every Broncos contract matter is overshadowed by the team’s Russell Wilson mistake, the team did well to lock down Sutton at what became a club-friendly rate during the 2021 season. After Sutton scored 10 touchdowns to help Wilson bounce back — to a degree, at least — in 2023, he has made an effort to secure better terms.

Sutton, 28, is believed to be angling for a raise from his $13MM 2024 base salary. The seventh-year target has been connected to seeking a bump to around $16MM. The Broncos did resolve a Chris Harris impasse by authorizing a raise, but the All-Decade CB was a better player who was in a contract year. Sutton reported to Denver’s minicamp but has not committed to showing up for training camp. Last month, the sides were at a stalemate. Tied to a $17.39MM cap number, Sutton would not be able to recoup any fines for a holdout due to being on a veteran contract.

Trade interest emerged during the draft, and the former second-round pick has regularly resided in departure rumors over the past two years. The Broncos cut the cord on fellow trade-rumor mainstay Jerry Jeudy, which stands to make Sutton more important as the team develops Bo Nix. Though, the Broncos have added a few wideouts on Sean Payton‘s watch. If younger players like Marvin Mims and fourth-round rookie Troy Franklin show promise, it is possible the Broncos revisit Sutton trade talks. Up until Week 1, only $2MM of Sutton’s base salary is guaranteed.

Broncos WR Courtland Sutton Contemplating Training Camp Holdout

A number of contract-related disputes are ongoing around the league, many of which affect the receiver position. In the case of the Broncos and Courtland Sutton, no resolution is imminent.

The former Pro Bowler confirmed earlier this month that he and the team are at a standstill with respect to negotiations on a new pact. Two years remain on Sutton’s contract, with $2MM of his 2024 base salary guaranteed. He is open to an adjustment to the deal consisting of new compensation – as opposed to an extension – but it remains to be seen if the Broncos will accommodate that wish.

Sutton skipped OTAs while recovering from offseason ankle surgery, and he gave thought to remaining away from the team during minicamp. Instead, the 28-year-old took part in the mandatory event while noting progress still needs to be made on the contract front. With that remaining the case, he could be absent once training camp opens later this month.

When asked if he will hold out in the absence of a new agreement, the former second-rounder replied, via The Athletic’s Nick Kosmider, “We’ll see” (subscription required). Players have stayed away from teams during training camp on plenty of occasions before, although more recently the ‘hold-in’ approach has become common. The latter avenue consists of players attending camp but not taking part in any on-field work.

Being attached to a non-rookie pact, Sutton would be subject to mandatory daily fines if he elected to skip training camp. The SMU product helped his bargaining position with a career-high 10 touchdown catches in 2023, and the Broncos’ decision to trade away Jerry Jeudy left Sutton in place as an experienced receiving option for a new-look QB room. On the other hand, Sutton has just one season on his resume (2019) with more than 1,000 yards.

The top of the receiver market has reached new heights this offseason, and the likes of Ja’Marr Chase, CeeDee Lamb and Brandon Aiyuk are positioned to land monster extensions from their respective teams. Sutton is not in an identical position given his age and production, but his situation is still one to monitor closely as training camp approaches. It will be interesting to see if traction is gained with respect to negotiations given the possibility of a holdout.

Broncos, WR Courtland Sutton At Stalemate

Courtland Sutton reported for the Broncos’ minicamp Tuesday. This will allow him to avoid a $102K fine, separating this situation from the CeeDee Lamb, Brandon Aiyuk and Amari Cooper matters. But Sutton continues to pursue a contract adjustment.

Nothing is imminent for the Broncos’ top wide receiver, who said (via the Denver Gazette’s Chris Tomasson) his talks with the team — more than a month after this contract issue became known — are at a stalemate. Sutton’s four-year, $60MM contract runs through 2025. Only $2MM of the seventh-year veteran’s $13MM 2024 base salary is guaranteed; the rest of the money would become locked in shortly before Week 1.

The 6-foot-4 pass catcher, who underwent offseason ankle surgery, mostly watched during Denver’s first minicamp workout, per 9News’Mike Klis. Sutton, 28, said (via Tomasson) he gave brief consideration to skipping Denver’s minicamp but remains committed to the team, eyeing a hopeful ring of fame induction down the road. The Broncos drafted Sutton in the 2018 second round, and he has produced at points despite the the quarterback inconsistency that has come to define this franchise post-Peyton Manning.

It was definitely something that was considered,” Sutton said (via Klis) of the prospect of missing minicamp. “Obviously, I’m here. I wanted to make sure it was known, yeah, I was upset about how the contract went about, how the conversation went about. How the stalemate has persisted. But I also wanted it to be know that I love ball.”

Sutton is believed to be angling for a raise, and while the Broncos accommodated Chris Harris with a pay bump to resolve an issue back in 2019, the latter had proven far more than his former practice adversary has. Harris, who made the 2010s’ All-Decade team, was also going into the final year of his contract when the Broncos gave him a raise. Sutton, whose lone 1,000-yard season came that year, having two years remaining on his deal complicates matters. As does the fact Sean Payton was not in Denver when the team extended him during the 2021 season.

Denver has resisted trade interest for Sutton, though the team finally gave in on Jerry Jeudy and unloaded the former first-rounder for fifth- and sixth-round picks. Teams called about the Broncos’ 2023 leading receiver before the draft, but Sutton remains the team’s receiver centerpiece. Under Payton, however, the team has added a few pieces — from 2023 second-rounder Marvin Mims, 2024 fourth-rounder Troy Franklin and free agent Josh Reynolds. Sutton and Tim Patrick are the only John Elway-era cogs left in the Broncos’ skill-position group.

The Broncos set a second-round asking price on Sutton last year, and while that was never likely to be met, the team has the SMU alum on a fairly favorable deal considering where the wide receiver market has gone since this deal was finalized. Sutton’s $15MM AAV now sits 26th at the position. Jeudy signed a Browns extension that checked in north of Sutton for AAV and included far more guarantees at signing ($41.6MM).

Several wide receiver contract situations remain unresolved as the offseason enters its final weeks. Sutton’s may qualify as a second-tier matter, but the Broncos are likely aiming to have him help Bo Nix during the first-rounder’s rookie year. Training camp will represent the next stage of this impasse.

We are at a stalemate in a sense, but I have confidence and faith that the right thing will be done,” Sutton said, via Klis. “I hope that I am part of the bigger picture. I’ve been told that’s what the game plan is. I’ve also been told some other things. We’ll see what happens. I hope that I’m part of the game plan.

WR Courtland Sutton To Attend Broncos’ Minicamp

As he seeks a new dealCourtland Sutton has been absent from the Broncos’ organized team activities. That situation will change next week.

The veteran receiver said during a Thursday appearance on a DNVR Sports podcast that he will take part in the team’s upcoming mandatory minicamp. The final stage of Denver’s offseason program will run from June 11-13, and head coach Sean Payton previously stated he expected Sutton to attend. By doing so, the latter will not be subject to roughly $100K in fines.

“I will be there,” Sutton said of minicamp (via Chris Tomasson of the Denver Gazette). “A small tidbit. It’s been killing me not being able to be at [OTAs]. This has been a very different offseason since I’ve been a part of since I’ve been in this league. Anybody that knows me and anybody that’s played with me understands that I love this game.”

The 28-year-old has two years remaining on his contract. That includes a 2024 base salary of $13MM, $2MM of which is guaranteed. Next year’s base compensation ($13.5MM) does not contain any money locked in. Sutton is believed to be aiming for a bump in pay for the immediate term in lieu of an extension. An AAV in the $15-16MM range is his reported target, and Mike Klis of 9News confirms a raise is still being sought out.

No progress on negotiations regarding a new arrangement have been made, however, meaning Sutton could wind up playing out the 2024 season on his deal as currently constructed. The former Pro Bowler has fallen well down the pecking order at the WR position, with the 2024 offseason seeing a new wave of monster extensions (with more likely soon to follow).

The SMU alum led the Broncos in receiving last season, his fifth with at least 700 yards. Sutton has topped 1,000 only once in his career, but he was on the radar of interested teams leading up to the trade deadline and the draft. Denver does not wish to move him, nor is he seeking a new team. A key role should await Sutton in 2024 as the Broncos start the second year of the Sean Payton era with a new quarterback (likely first-round rookie Bo Nix) in place.

The Broncos have invested at the receiver spot this offseason with the free agent addition of Josh Reynolds and the selection of Troy Franklin and Devaughn Vele in the fourth and seventh rounds of the draft. Those newcomers, along with veteran Tim Patrick and 2023 second-rounder Marvin Mims, will vie for playing time this summer in a receiver room which no longer includes Jerry Jeudy. Sutton will be counted on as a leader for that group, but it remains to be seen if his contract will be adjusted before the start of the campaign.

Latest On Broncos, Courtland Sutton

In what has become standard operating procedure for wide receivers carrying contract issues, a number of high-profile targets — Justin Jefferson, CeeDee Lamb, Brandon Aiyuk, Tee Higgins — have not shown up for OTAs. Courtland Sutton appears in that boat as well.

Sutton has been away from the Broncos during the pre-OTAs portion of their voluntary workout schedule, training in Florida. That appears to still be the case as OTAs get underway, per the Denver Post’s Parker Gabriel. Sutton has expressed a desire for a contract upgrade, and the seventh-year veteran may be amenable to a straight raise.

Re-emerging as Denver’s No. 1 wide receiver last season, Sutton remains tied to his four-year, $60MM deal. No wideout has been tied to a higher AAV in Broncos history, but Sutton’s contract qualifies as team-friendly now. Agreed to during the 2021 season, Sutton’s deal was finalized before a receiver market boom the following offseason. His AAV now checks in at No. 23, counting Higgins’ franchise tag, at the position.

That contract calls for a $13MM base salary in 2024; just $2MM of that total is guaranteed. Sutton is angling for a new deal — one the Broncos are unlikely to hand out due to two seasons remaining on his current pact — but’s Jeremy Fowler said during a recent SportsCenter appearance (via Sutton would like to bump his salary up into the $15-$16MM range. No progress is coming out of these talks, Fowler adds.

Players regularly seek extensions when their contracts fall out of step with the market or when existing deals have already paid out guarantees. Sutton probably falls into both camps, but it would be interesting if a raise on his 2024 salary would bring about a resolution. The Broncos took a similar step with Chris Harris back in 2019, after the team had given Kareem Jackson a deal with a higher per-year salary. Denver gave its decorated cornerback a straight raise, bumping his 2019 pay from $8.9MM to $12.05MM.

Some clear differences between that situation and Sutton’s exist, however. En route to All-Decade honors, Harris had been the NFL’s top slot corner for several years ahead of those negotiations. The Broncos also authorized a pure raise for a player in a contract year. That agreement also came during John Elway‘s GM tenure. Sutton, an Elway-era draftee who signed his extension in GM George Paton‘s first season, has two years remaining on his deal and has not approached the heights Harris reached during his Broncos tenure. A decision-maker not around for either his draft arrival or extension, Sean Payton, now carries the most weight in the organization.

A raise would set a precedent under Payton, and teams generally prefer extensions to notable pay bumps. While Sutton has four 700-plus-yard seasons on his resume, 2019 represents his only 1,000-yard season. The Broncos are not expected to trade the 6-foot-4 wideout, who is recovering from offseason ankle surgery. Teams called the Broncos ahead of the draft. The former second-round pick does carry some leverage; the team stands to need him as a reliable target to break in Bo Nix.

Sutton, 28, profiles as Denver’s best bet for steady receiving production this season, though the team has added a few pieces under Payton — from Josh Reynolds to draft choices Marvin Mims and Troy Franklin. While Sutton sits as the highest-floor player in the Broncos’ pass-catching corps, the two recent draftees’ development will play a role in the veteran’s Denver future. A trade-rumor mainstay, Sutton is tied to a $13.5MM nonguaranteed 2025 salary.

Latest On Broncos, WR Courtland Sutton

The next phase of the Broncos’ offseason program is beginning on Monday, but Courtland Sutton remains absent from the team. The veteran wideout is seeking a new deal, though nothing is imminent on that front.

Sutton is due $13.5MM total in 2024 ($2MM of which has already been paid out). One year remains on his current pact beyond that, but none of his scheduled compensation for 2025 ($14MM) is guaranteed. The 28-year-old is angling for adjustments to the contract providing more assurances but with all practice time being voluntary at this point in the offseason, there is little incentive for team or player to budge from their current stance.

Mike Klis of 9News notes that communication between Sutton’s camp and the Broncos has been “respectful” up to this point. That is a positive sign, especially when coupled with the fact that a trade sending the former second-rounder out of the Mile High City is increasingly unlikely. Denver received interest in the lead-in to the draft, but no deal took place during the event. That comes as little surprise considering the team’s desire to retain Sutton moving forward.

As Klis confirms, the SMU product has not requested a trade despite the ongoing dispute with the Broncos. Sutton has been in Denver throughout his six-year career, and he has been the focal point of the team’s passing game when healthy. In three seasons since his ACL tear in 2020, he has received 297 targets while the Broncos have dealt with injuries amongst other pass-catchers. Last year, he posted career highs in touchdowns (10) and catch percentage (65.6%).

The decision to trade Jerry Jeudy to the Browns was followed up by the signing of Josh Reynolds. The latter will be joined by rookies Troy Franklin and Devaughn Vele as newcomers in Denver’s 2024 receiver room. Even with those arrivals and the return of Tim Patrick, though, Sutton will be counted on as the top receiving option for the Broncos’ starting quarterback.

That role will likely be held by first-rounder Bo Nix, who is now missing out on time to develop chemistry with Sutton during spring workouts. That situation would of course become more dire if it were to continue into training camp (when mandatory fines for missed practices or a hold-in could come into play in Sutton’s case). This situation is not currently positioned to result in a parting of ways, but it nevertheless remains worth monitoring as the offseason unfolds.

Teams Calling Broncos On Courtland Sutton

Jerry Jeudy exited the trade-rumor cycle that has engulfed the Broncos’ receiving corps for the past 18 months, finally being moved (to the Browns). Courtland Sutton, particularly after his recent contract issue surfaced, remains in this mix.

The Broncos are not believed to want to trade Sutton, but’s Jeremy Fowler notes the team has received several calls from clubs about the six-year veteran. Two years remain on Sutton’s 2021 extension (four years, $60MM), calling into question how motivated the Broncos will be to adjust his deal.

Sutton, 28, emerged as Russell Wilson‘s top target in Sean Payton‘s offense. The 6-foot-4 target totaled a career-high 10 touchdowns, some of the acrobatic variety, during a season in which Denver’s offense depended on his playmaking. The Broncos keeping Sutton on their roster through the first week of the 2024 league year guaranteed $2MM of his 2024 base salary ($13MM). The rest of Sutton’s deal — which includes a $13.5MM 2025 base salary — is nonguaranteed.

The guarantees here are partially behind Sutton staying away from the early part of Denver’s offseason program, though team brass has communicated with the former second-round pick. The Steelers, with Wilson now on a veteran-minimum deal (providing a minor offset on the Broncos’ dead money sinkhole), have been linked as a team to monitor regarding a receiver trade. Sutton would make sense due to his deep-ball skills and rapport with Wilson.

Although Broncos GM George Paton has seen his tenure skid off track thanks to the Nathaniel Hackett hire and Wilson trade/extension developments, the Sutton extension looks fairly team-friendly now. The 2022 offseason brought a WR market boom. After Calvin Ridley‘s $24MM-per-year deal headlined this year’s free agency run at the position, Sutton’s $15MM AAV sits 23rd at the position. Jeudy’s $17.5MM-per-year Browns pact also tops his former teammate’s number, and the inconsistent ex-first-rounder is tied to $41MM fully guaranteed. That figure figure, despite the new Cleveland resident’s upper-middle-class AAV, ranks fourth at the position.

The Jeudy trade makes Sutton more important in Denver, which has him in place as its clear WR1 right now. Marvin Mims showed promise last season, but the 2023 second-rounder could not carve out a steady role. Tim Patrick remains on the team, albeit after taking a substantial pay cut, but has not played since 2021 due to two season-nullifying injuries. Denver added complementary target Josh Reynolds. Not expected to draft a wideout in Round 1 — the Broncos are in on QBs, as you may have heard — the Payton-Paton duo will have a harder time augmenting the group due to the lack of a second-round pick.

Denver collected only fifth- and sixth-rounders for Jeudy. This came after the team held out for a first-round pick last year and received an offer of third- and fifth-rounders at the 2023 deadline. The Broncos set a second-round price on Sutton last year and nearly traded him to the Ravens — before the Odell Beckham Jr. signing — though it is not known if Baltimore was close to that Round 2 compensation.

With the draft serving as another loose deadline in the Sutton saga, this situation will be worth monitoring — perhaps up to Day 3, based on the Jeudy compensation — as will any Broncos receiver picks this weekend. If Brandon Aiyuk and Tee Higgins are not available, teams could turn to Sutton, who has become a long-term trade candidate.

Broncos Don’t Plan To Trade Courtland Sutton

Courtland Sutton has been a popular trade candidate for the better part of a year. While the Broncos’ offseason overhaul has already led to plenty of offensive turnover, it sounds like the former second-round receiver will be sticking in Denver.

[RELATED: Courtland Sutton Absent From Broncos’ Offseason Program]

According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Broncos have received “multiple trade inquiries” on Sutton. However, the front office doesn’t plan on trading the wideout. Sutton was a no-show for the start of Broncos voluntary offseason workouts, with the understanding being that the receiver was seeking a new contract.

However, Sutton is also rehabbing an ankle injury. According to Mike Klis of 9News in Denver, the wideout had offseason ankle surgery stemming from an injury he suffered during the regular-season finale. Fortunately, it doesn’t sound like the player nor the team are overly concerned about the recovery, and Sutton has been active working out in Florida during the offseason.

Sutton has two years remaining on his contract, including a 2024 campaign where he’s set to earn a base salary of $13MM. The Broncos already picked up his $2MM guarantee for 2024, but that’s the team’s only current financial commitment to the player. None of Sutton’s 2025 earnings are guaranteed. The receiver is set to count for $17.4MM against the cap this season, and he’ll have a similar cap hit in 2025.

An acquiring team could look to sign Sutton to a new deal, although with two years remaining and easy outs on the contract, there certainly wouldn’t be any urgency to sign an extension. That’s probably why the Broncos aren’t in a rush to make a trade, and it’s unlikely teams are offering a whole lot for the wideout. While Sutton has remained relatively healthy throughout his career (he missed most of the 2020 campaign due to a torn ACL but has otherwise missed three career games), he hasn’t put up top-end production. He topped 1,000-yards receiving during his sophomore season, but since returning from his knee injury, he’s averaged only 800 yards per season.

As the Broncos eye an uncertain future on offense, it seems they’re putting some value on Sutton’s continuity. The team already moved on from quarterback Russell Wilson and fellow receiver Jerry Jeudy. If things don’t go well at the beginning of the 2024 campaign, Sutton could be the next offensive player to get shipped out.

Courtland Sutton Absent From Broncos’ Offseason Program; WR Seeking Extension

As many NFL offseason programs opened up yesterday, a few notable receivers (CeeDee Lamb and Justin Jefferson) were among the players not present as they seek new contracts. They are not alone in that respect.

Courtland Sutton is away from the Broncos as he too aims to secure a new pact, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports. Two years remain on the 28-year-old’s contract, and he is due a base salary of $13MM in 2024. Only $2MM of that figure is guaranteed, though, and none of his 2025 salary is guaranteed as things currently stand.

Throughout last offseason and toward the 2023 trade deadline, Sutton was frequently tied to speculation he could be dealt. Denver came close to working out a deal with the Ravens, but in the end the former second-rounder remained in place. Jerry Jeudy was ultimately sent to the Browns, clearing the way for Sutton and Tim Patrick to occupy starting receiver roles with the Broncos moving forward.

Faring much better on the health front than many of Denver’s other receiving options in recent years, Sutton has missed considerable time only once in his career (when he was limited to a single game in 2020 due to an ACL tear). Since then, the SMU product has played 17, 15 and 16 games. Sutton has remained a focal point in Denver’s passing attack during that span, totaling 297 targets.

While the one-time Pro Bowler has not managed to reach 1,000 yards since he posted 1,112 in 2019, he rebounded as a red zone threat this past season. Sutton posted 10 touchdowns in 2023, comfortably the highest total of his career, while recording 772 yards on 59 receptions. While those figures are not those deserving of a long-term investment at the top of the receiver market, the Broncos now know they do not need to save future cash and cap space for a Jeudy extension.

Sutton is set to count $17.4MM against the cap this season, and that figure is nearly identical for 2025. An extension could lower those cap charges depending on how it was structured, and on where in the WR pecking order Sutton aims to place himself. The $15MM annual average value of his current pact puts him in a tie for 21st amongst receivers. Regardless of the AAV of a new pact, guaranteed compensation will no doubt be a key sticking point in this case.

Denver’s offense is set to see changes in 2024, the second year with head coach Sean Payton at the helm. The Broncos moved on from Russell Wilson, and a quarterback addition early in the upcoming draft would come as no surprise as a result. Sutton is positioned to continue serving as a central figure in the passing game, but the willingness of the team to engage in extension talks will now become an interesting storyline to follow.

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.