Jerry Jeudy

Teams Remain Interested In Jerry Jeudy; Broncos Seeking First-Round Pick For WR

MARCH 17: While teams’ interest could reach the point of an offer the Broncos cannot refuse, the team does not want to move either Jeudy or Sutton. Denver prefers to move forward with both starters, Mike Klis of 9News tweets. Optimism exists Payton will unlock some of the long-held potential of both Sutton and Jeudy, per Klis, who notes the team has hope Sutton — now more than two years removed from his September 2020 ACL tear — will return to his pre-injury form. Sutton is due a $14MM base salary in 2023.

MARCH 15: As they did before the 2022 trade deadline, the Broncos are receiving calls on Jerry Jeudy. The team has thus far shut down interest in the ascending wide receiver, but a price point has emerged that could convince the franchise to sell high.

The Broncos would want a first-round pick for the fourth-year receiver, Jeff Howe of The Athletic reports (on Twitter). Jeudy can be controlled on his rookie contract through 2024, with his fifth-year option call due by May. That seems likely to be exercised — by the Broncos or another team — given Jeudy’s talent.

Denver resisted interest in Jeudy last year, and it made sense for the Broncos to regroup and prepare for the former first-round pick to be part of a better offense in 2023. But neither Sean Payton nor George Paton was in place when the Broncos drafted Jeudy. While the Alabama product profiles as Denver’s top receiver, the team does not have first- or second-round picks in this year’s draft — due to the Payton and Russell Wilson trades. Using Jeudy or Courtland Sutton would be a way for the franchise to add a pick or multiple selections in this year’s draft.

A recent report indicated teams have called the Broncos on Sutton and Jeudy, but the team has thus far passed on trade overtures toward the John Elway-era investments. Both players are on affordable contracts, with Sutton signed through 2025 on a $15MM-per-year accord he signed during the 2021 season. With the Bengals and Chargers taking Tee Higgins and Keenan Allen off the market, respectively, teams seeing if they can pry one of the Broncos’ starters away — in exchange for much-needed draft capital — makes sense.

Then again, the Broncos gave Wilson a $49MM-per-year extension before last season and are still banking on the former Seahawks star re-emerging from a shockingly mediocre 2022 season. Dealing away Jeudy, 23, would stand to hinder Wilson’s rebound effort. Sutton would seem to make more sense as a trade chip, though he would be unlikely to fetch as much. He is entering his age-28 season. But the team has a similar player in Tim Patrick, an outside receiver tied to a $10MM-per-year contract. Patrick has not come up in trade rumors, having missed last season with an ACL tear.

The Cowboys and Giants were among the teams to contact the Broncos on Jeudy before the deadline last year; Dallas made an offer. Both teams are still believed to be looking for receiver help. The Broncos have upped their asking price compared to last year, when a report pegged the team as seeking a second-round pick. Given this modest free agent receiver class and only veterans DeAndre Hopkins and Brandin Cooks viewed as available via trade, Denver is asking for more now. Following those trade rumors, Jeudy finished the 2022 season with a career-high 972 receiving yards to lead the Broncos. This did not move the needle much, however, as Denver’s Nathaniel Hackett-directed offense ranked last in scoring.

In New Orleans, Payton prioritized multiple receivers — Marques Colston, Michael Thomas — but reached agreements to trade two complementary talents (Cooks, Kenny Stills) as well. The Broncos, as the Saints are known to do, are investing heavily along their offensive line. The team reached agreements with Mike McGlinchey and Ben Powers this week, and the team will likely consider a Quinn Meinerz extension next year. Considering Jeudy’s age, the Broncos will face a pivotal decision on the state of their receiving corps soon.

Patriots To Sign WR JuJu Smith-Schuster

MARCH 16: The $33MM number turned out to be the max value here. Instead, the Patriots signed the seventh-year wideout to a three-year, $25.5MM contract, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe tweets. Like Meyers, he received $16MM guaranteed at signing, but he did not reach an eight-figure AAV. Smith-Schuster can get to that $33MM mark via performance, with Volin adding $7.5MM remains available through receiving yards-based incentives. Only $4.5MM of those incentives are achievable during the deal’s guaranteed years, with SI.com’s Albert Breer adding $3MM are part of Smith-Schuster’s 2025 potential earnings (Twitter link).

MARCH 15: While mutual interest existed between the Chiefs and JuJu Smith-Schuster, the veteran wide receiver looks set to change teams again. The Patriots are signing the seventh-year wideout, Taylor Bisciotti and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com report (on Twitter).

The Chiefs made efforts to bring back Smith-Schuster, their leading wide receiver in 2022, Dianna Russini of ESPN.com tweets. But the Pats will acquire a versatile performer to replace Jakobi Meyers, who committed to the Raiders on Tuesday.

This situation appeared to come down to how much of a hometown discount Smith-Schuster would accept; he said before Super Bowl LVII he wanted to stay in Kansas City. It is unclear how much the Chiefs offered, but Mike Giardi of NFL.com tweets the money did not reach the place the Pats went (Twitter link).

New England is giving Smith-Schuster a three-year, $33MM deal, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. Guarantees are not yet known, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter adds JuJu will collect $22.5MM through 2024 (Twitter link). After settling for one-year deals in 2021 (with Pittsburgh) and ’22 (with Kansas City), Smith-Schuster finally scores a multiyear commitment.

Used mostly in the slot with the Steelers, Smith-Schuster shuffled across formations with the Chiefs and produced a rebound season upon teaming with Patrick Mahomes. The 26-year-old target caught 78 passes for 933 yards and three touchdowns. The 933 yards marked Smith-Schuster’s most since his 2018 Pro Bowl season in Pittsburgh. He finished with the fifth-most YAC over expected (plus-141), per Next Gen Stats, in 2022.

Smith-Schuster’s AAV matches the money the Raiders and Jets gave to Meyers and Allen Lazard, respectively, and this represents another medium-term accord the Pats are giving out to bolster the position. They handed Nelson Agholor a two-year, $22MM contract in 2021. The former first-rounder did not live up to it, and he is unlikely to return in 2023. It is interesting the Pats passed on Meyers to pay an outside hire similar cash — something Meyers has since noticed (Twitter link) — but Smith-Schuster has shown a slightly higher ceiling. These two are also the same age, despite Meyers entering the league two years later. The Patriots did not offer Meyers the kind of guarantees the Raiders did, Giardi adds. Meyers signed for $22MM guaranteed in total and $16.5MM fully guaranteed.

Although Smith-Schuster’s 1,400-yard season during Antonio Brown‘s Steelers swansong still looks like an outlier, he showed plenty in Kansas City last season. The Chiefs signed Smith-Schuster, a free agent target for two years, to an incentive-laden deal — initially a $3.8MM pact — and the USC alum ended up adding millions to his 2022 earnings by hitting a few of those benchmarks. Kansas City obviously features a favorable setup, with Reid calling the shots in a Mahomes-piloted attack, but Smith-Schuster became the No. 1 receiver for a team that managed to win the Super Bowl after trading Tyreek Hill. It will be interesting to see who the Chiefs target to fill Smith-Schuster’s role. While the team is keen on expanding Kadarius Toney‘s responsibilities, the talented ex-Giant’s rampant injury trouble could interfere.

Mecole Hardman remains unsigned, and while the Chiefs were planning to let the speedster walk, perhaps the Smith-Schuster defection changes their thinking. Kansas City will be an attractive setup for wide receivers, and Odell Beckham Jr.¬†remains available. OBJ would undoubtedly need to set a new price point, as his reported $20MM-per-year ask is out of step with his value. But the Chiefs were connected to OBJ in 2021 and ’22.

As for the Patriots, Smith-Schuster will join a team in transition at receiver. Kendrick Bourne enjoyed a solid season in 2021 but fell into the doghouse last season. The Pats used a second-round pick on Tyquan Thornton, but an injury halted his rookie-year development. DeVante Parker remains under contract, as does Bourne, but Smith-Schuster is now positioned to be the No. 1 receiver in Bill O’Brien‘s offense.

The team has also looked into Jerry Jeudy, per Denver7’s Troy Renck (on Twitter), and DeAndre Hopkins. It is unclear how serious it is to making more upgrades after landing JuJu. The Pats are not currently pursuing Hopkins, Albert Breer of SI.com tweets.

Giants Rumors: Lawrence, Edwards, WRs, Love

The Giants have been eyeing an extension for star defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence for a while now and, following a breakout season, the team has made it a priority. New York started preliminary conversations with Lawrence about two weeks ago, but Jonathan Jones of NFL on CBS claims he wouldn’t be surprised to see a new deal done “sooner than later.”

Despite the ever-growing markets for every position, the league’s market for defensive tackles has never been near the contract of generational talent Aaron Donald. It appears that this will continue to be the case as we see the defensive tackle market reestablished this offseason. Washington has already made Daron Payne the new second-highest paid defensive tackle in the NFL behind Donald with a four-year, $90MM contract. Payne’s average annual value of $22.5MM is still well short of Donald’s $31.67MM per year.

It will be interesting to see where the Giants go from Payne’s deal. Payne established himself as a premier pass-rushing defensive tackle in the league this season but struggled in run defense. Lawrence didn’t have the pass rush production that Payne did but still excelled in the area while also being strong against the run.

Lawrence graded out as the second-best defensive tackle in the league this year, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). It would make perfect sense for the Giants to reward Lawrence with a contract that surpasses that of Payne’s new deal, but will Lawrence be able to come anywhere close to the heights reached by Donald?

Here are a few more rumors surrounding the Giants’ priorities at the start of the new league year:

  • Starting the offseason with 21 unrestricted free agents, New York had a laundry list of names and positions to take care of. One of those positions that has been getting some chatter is inside linebacker. Specifically, the Giants have continuously been connected to Eagles pending free agent linebacker T.J. Edwards, according to Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post. The four-year Philadelphia defender has had two increasingly impressive breakout seasons, recording career-highs last year in total tackles (159), tackles for loss (10), sacks (2.0), quarterback hits (5), and passes defensed (7). Aside from Edwards, the top name expected to be available at the position is Tremaine Edmunds from Buffalo. Other names of interest for the G-Men include the Commanders’ Cole Holcomb, the Bengals’ Germaine Pratt, the Cowboys’ Leighton Vander Esch, the Lions’ Alex Anzalone, and the Chargers’ Drue Tranquill.
  • The wide receivers position has been an obvious need on the Giants’ roster for some time now, but it doesn’t appear that the Giants intend to address that through free agency, according to Pat Leonard of New York Daily News. With their focuses in free agency and the draft reportedly on inside linebackers, defensive linemen, cornerbacks, and interior offensive linemen, thoughts are that the trade market may make more sense for New York. If the Bills aren’t able to reach an extension agreement with Gabriel Davis, the Giants could be strong contenders to acquire his talents. The Rams have granted receiver Allen Robinson permission to seek a trade. Cardinals star receiver DeAndre Hopkins appears to be available for a price, as well. There are other names that could be interesting additions to the trade market such as Cincinnati wideout Tyler Boyd or Denver’s Jerry Jeudy. The team might still make free agency moves for veterans like Cole Beasley or Odell Beckham Jr., but the trade market could be a more attractive way to bring in established talent to New York.
  • There is reportedly optimism that the Giants will be able to come to an agreement to re-sign pending free agent safety Julian Love. After two seasons of relatively down play, Love had a bounce-back, breakout season in a contract year. He led the team in tackles by a mile with 124 total and tacked on two interceptions for good measure. Love may not be expected to make top money at the position, but after playing out his rookie contract, it appears Love is on the right track to remaining in New York long-term.

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 ESPN.com 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.

AFC Rumors: Texans, Jeudy, Njoku

The Texans will be without two key players as they go up against their former quarterback and the Browns this weekend, according to Aaron Wilson of KPRC2. Leading wide receiver Brandin Cooks and rookie cornerback Derek Stingley have been ruled out going into the weekend.

Houston has struggled mightily so far this year en route to a 1-9-1 record. Despite the promise heading into the year of the connection between second-year starting quarterback Davis Mills and Cooks, neither has quite lived up to their potential. Mills has officially lost the starting job he earned as a rookie, getting benched for Kyle Allen. Cooks, after cracking the 1,000-yard receiving mark in each of his first two seasons with the Texans, will be hard-pressed to reach that achievement this year as he currently boasts 520 receiving yards with only seven games remaining. Cooks will miss his second game of the season with a calf injury, and the Texans will be forced to lean on Nico Collins, Chris Moore, Phillip Dorsett, and Amari Rodgers to hopefully make up for the loss of Cooks.

Stingley is set to miss his third game in a row with a hamstring issue. Stingley has endured a rough transition to the NFL. So far in his rookie season, Stingley has only graded out as the NFL’s 107th-best cornerback, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). Still, he is third on the Texans with five passes defensed and tied for second with one interception, showing that he makes an impact on a defense that has struggled for much of the year. In Stingley’s absence, Desmond King will continue to start opposite Steven Nelson with Tavierre Thomas getting some solid action, as well.

Here are a few other injury rumors from around the AFC, starting with some potentially good news at Mile High:

  • Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy could be set to make a return to the field against the Ravens this weekend, according to Kyle Newman of the Denver Post. After a two-week absence, the third-year wide out is a game-time decision to play. KJ Hamler will miss a fourth straight game, after suffering a recent setback in his recovery from a hamstring injury. Jeudy’s return would be a big boost for a Denver team that has been forced to rely on Kendall Hinton, Montrell Washington, and Brandon Johnson as its Courtland Sutton supporting cast over the past two games.
  • After returning for two straight games, Browns tight end David Njoku has been ruled out once again, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Despite a slow start to the season, Njoku had begun a streak of strong performances to justify his new contract. Unfortunately, his momentum came to a crashing halt when he missed two games with an ankle injury. Coming off a five-catch performance last week that included a game-tying touchdown catch with 32 seconds remaining, seeing Njoku sidelined once again, this time with a knee injury, is the last thing Browns fans were hoping to see.

WR Rumors: Diggs, Texans, Panthers, Hamler

Week 10’s VikingsBills thriller featured Stefon Diggs‘ first game against his former team. The 2020 trade that sent Diggs to Buffalo and a compensation package headlined by a first-round pick (Justin Jefferson) to Minnesota became one of the great win-win trades in modern NFL history. Diggs voicing his frustration about the Vikings’ run-heavy offense in 2019 led to Bills interest, laying the groundwork for the 2020 swap. Diggs requested a trade in October 2019, but after meetings with Vikings brass, the sides agreed to shelve the matter until 2020, Tim Graham of The Athletic reports (subscription required).

After a season in which Diggs drew just 94 targets in 15 games, the Vikings worked with the wideout’s agent to find a fit. The Jets and Patriots reached out, and Graham adds the Texans were in the mix as well. A Texans trade would have been interesting, considering they ended up trading DeAndre Hopkins on the same day Diggs was ultimately dealt. Houston ended up acquiring Brandin Cooks later that spring. Diggs did not ask for a new contract from the Bills immediately. His camp worried an extension request upon arrival would scuttle a potential deal, Graham adds, but the Bills understood money needed to be moved to accommodate the trade asset. Buffalo did so later that summer. Diggs ended up playing two years on his 2018 Vikings-constructed deal before inking a four-year, $96MM Bills pact this offseason.

Both Diggs and Jefferson are 2-for-2 in Pro Bowls since the trade, with both heading toward more accolades this year. Jefferson will be eligible for a monster extension in 2023. Here is the latest from the NFL’s receiver landscape:

  • Although the Texans used their No. 1 waiver spot to claim Amari Rodgers on Wednesday, Field Yates of ESPN.com notes (via Twitter) the Panthers also submitted a claim. The Panthers have D.J. Moore and Terrace Marshall signed to long-term deals but recently changed up their receiver situation by trading Robbie Anderson. Houston now has Rodgers, a 2021 third-round pick whom the Packers cut this week, signed through 2024.
  • Injury problems have hindered the Broncos throughout the season, and their receiver situation — one already affected by Tim Patrick‘s training camp ACL tear — took another hit last week when KJ Hamler went down in practice. Hamler’s hamstring injury sidelined him for Denver’s Week 10 game, and Nathaniel Hackett said (via ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter, on Twitter) the third-year wideout is expected to miss “a few” more weeks due to the injury. A former second-round pick, Hamler is coming off a season marred by an ACL tear and a hip injury. The young deep threat drew interest at the trade deadline, but the Broncos opted to stand pat at receiver. Hamler has just seven catches for 165 yards this season.
  • Conversely, Jerry Jeudy is believed to have avoided a major setback. Jeudy suffered an ankle injury early in the Broncos’ Week 10 loss to the Titans; he was carted off the field. But the Broncos believe the former first-round pick dodged a bullet, per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com, who notes Jeudy could return this week. Jeudy, who also left a Week 2 game due to an ankle injury before returning in Week 3, has 30 receptions for 449 yards this season.

Broncos WR Jerry Jeudy Suffers Ankle Injury

NOVEMBER 14: An MRI confirmed on Monday that Jeudy did indeed only suffer a mild ankle injury, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (video link). His availability for this week remains up in the air, but the news represents a very positive development for the Broncos.

NOVEMBER 13:¬†Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy left today’s loss to the Titans with an ankle injury that kept him out for the rest of the game. After evaluating the injury further, Denver believes the injury is not his Achilles tendon, which would be the worst-case scenario for the 23-year-old, according to Mike Klis of 9NEWS.

Jeudy missed seven games last year, including six straight due to a high ankle sprain. He’s come back strong during his third year in the league, not missing a single start so far this year. That streak may be in question following today’s injury, though. It will be good news if the team can confirm that his Achilles is fine, but an injury that was serious enough to hold him out of the rest of the game will be tough to come back from quickly.

With slot receiver KJ Hamler dealing with a hamstring injury and Tim Patrick still on injured reserve with a season-ending ACL tear, the Broncos can hardly afford to lose Jeudy. With Jeudy on the sideline, Denver relied on Kendall Hinton, Tyrie Cleveland, rookie fifth-round pick Montrell Washington, and undrafted rookie Jalen Virgil to step up alongside the team’s only remaining starting wideout, Courtland Sutton. Virgil and Hinton found some success today against Tennessee but relying on them for multiple weeks is a lot to ask for an offense that has already struggled throughout the season.

The team is also piling up injuries at center. Graham Glasgow, who was already filling for Lloyd Cushenberry after the starting center was placed on IR, left today’s game and did not return, according to Klis. Denver brought in rookie fifth-round pick Luke Wattenberg to fill in for Glasgow and will likely ask him to start if Glasgow needs more time to recover.

Cowboys Interested In Odell Beckham Jr., Made Offer For Broncos’ Jerry Jeudy

11:31am: Jay Glazer of FOX Sports says Beckham’s return to full strength will happen closer to the mid-November timeframe that had been floated for some time. Per Glazer, Beckham is expected to be fully cleared within the next week (Twitter link).

08:16am: The Cowboys made an effort to improve their WR corps in advance of Tuesday’s trade deadline, including an attempt to acquire Texans wideout Brandin Cooks. Cooks was not the only receiver Dallas was interested in, and though the deadline has passed, there is still one high-profile pass catcher on the team’s radar, as Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo of NFL.com report.

That player, of course, is Odell Beckham Jr., who is a popular name on the NFL rumor mill for the second consecutive November. Last year, it was a midseason divorce with the Browns that led to an OBJ free agent frenzy, which ultimately concluded with the three-time Pro Bowler signing with the Rams. Beckham then tore his ACL in Super Bowl LVI and has been without an employer since his contract with Los Angeles expired.

That is largely because Beckham has not been healthy enough to take the field. Reports have consistently maintained he would be ready to return to game action this month, so we fully expected contending clubs — especially those that did not land a receiver at the deadline — to ramp up their pursuit of Beckham right about now. The Rams have acknowledged since the offseason that they would be interested in a reunion, and that is presumably still the case since LA also missed out on Cooks and has gotten little production from offseason acquisition Allen Robinson. The Bills, Chiefs, Packers, and Vikings are also in the mix, and the Giants could be a factor as well.

Rapoport and Garafolo do note that, contrary to earlier reporting on the matter, Beckham is not expected to be at full strength and under contract until early December. That delay does not appear to be much of a concern, as one of the reasons the Cowboys did not overpay in a trade for a receiver is because the team believed it would have a chance to sign Beckham. Dallas has not yet talked contract with OBJ’s camp but has monitored his recovery closely.

In addition to Cooks, the Cowboys also made an offer for Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, per the NFL.com duo. Denver fielded a number of calls on its former first-rounder, and GM George Paton was said to be holding out for a Round 2 selection. Teams clearly did not meet that asking price, as Jeudy stayed put. Nonetheless, it is clear that the Cowboys, who have posted a 6-2 record despite playing five of their eight games without Dak Prescott, are serious about adding another weapon to Prescott’s arsenal.

According to Rapoport and Garafolo, Beckham wants a multi-year deal. It would be somewhat surprising to see him land such an accord given his recent injury history, though the sheer number of suitors could help him in achieving that goal. On the other hand, if he joins a team for only the remainder of the 2022 campaign and performs as well as he did with the Rams prior to the ACL tear, he will be in line for a much larger payday in the offseason.

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.

Trade Rumors: Broncos, Cooks, Akers, Hunt, Cowboys, Lions, 49ers

Brandin Cooks is available, and Dan Graziano of ESPN.com notes (via Twitter) the Texans are in discussions involving the ninth-year receiver. But Cooks’ $18MM guaranteed 2023 salary — which came to pass after Houston re-signed him on a two-year, $39MM pact in April — has proven to be an impediment here. Teams are not moving on Cooks unless the Texans pick up a chunk of that salary. Cooks, 29, was linked to giving up some guaranteed money to facilitate a trade back to the Rams. But it is unlikely he will give up too much cash to be moved. The Giants and Vikings have also been connected to the thrice-traded Cooks. For what it’s worth, Cooks was not at Texans practice Tuesday. Personal reasons — not an imminent trade — are believed to be behind Cooks’ absence, NFL.com’s Garafolo tweets.

With the deadline in less than three hours, here is the latest from the trade front:

  • The Broncos have told teams they are not conducting a fire sale, SI.com’s Albert Breer notes. A Bradley Chubb trade still could commence, but NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo hears (video link) the team is holding out for a better offer. Denver has been linked to not only wanting a first-round pick for Chubb but two firsts. With the latter price range unlikely to take shape, the Broncos figure to be put to a major decision today. Jerry Jeudy remains unlikely to be moved, per Garafolo.
  • No Cam Akers trade is imminent, Josina Anderson of CBS Sports tweets. The Rams have been looking for a trade partner to unload their 2020 second-round pick. This situation may not be as icy as previously believed, however. Akers was once rumored to be done with the Rams, but he is now prepared to return to the team if no trade occurs this afternoon.
  • Prior to acquiring James Robinson from the Jaguars, the Jets looked into Kareem Hunt, Breer notes. The Browns have dangled Hunt for the price of a fourth-round pick, but the former rushing champion may now be set to stay in Cleveland for at least this season’s remainder. Hunt, 27, should be expected to hit free agency if no trade goes down today.
  • The Lions may not be done dealing. After sending T.J. Hockenson to the Vikings, the rebuilding NFC North squad has informed teams it remains open for business. Defensive back is one of the areas in which Detroit is willing to deal, CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones tweets. Contract-year cornerback Amani Oruwariye would appear to be one name available. While Jeff Okudah arrived before the Brad Holmes regime took over, it would still be surprising if Detroit moved on from the former No. 3 overall pick.
  • In addition to making defensive end Tarell Basham available, the Cowboys are open to moving defensive tackle Trysten Hill, Breer adds. Dallas has not seen the former second-round pick develop into a starter but has used him as a part-time player throughout this season. The team just added Johnathan Hankins via trade and has rookie-contract performers Osa Odighizuwa and Quinton Bohanna ahead of Hill. Basham has only played in one game this season (Week 1) and remains on IR. The Cowboys designated the former third-round edge rusher for return late last month, however.
  • The 49ers have already made their big trade splash, sending four picks to the Panthers for Christian McCaffrey. Kyle Shanahan said (via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area) the phone lines are always open, but the team does not expect to make another move.