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Earlier in the week, Sean Payton completely struck down speculation and rumors that the Denver Broncos are interested in trading Jerry Jeudy or Courtland Sutton.
“I would say a number of teams have called on those players,” Denver’s new head coach admitted at the NFL Owners Meetings on Monday. “But I said it [on Sunday], that’s not something we’re interested in doing.”
However, with that being said, Payton added he believes the speculation will continue as the NFL Draft, which begins at the end of April, nears. Is there a legitimate reason why the trade rumors will continue? Or is Payton just prepping Broncos Country for more of them same for one more month?
The DNVR Broncos Crew debates.
Will the Broncos trade either Jerry Jeudy or Courtland Sutton?
Zac: Yes — What else is Sean Payton supposed to say while both Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton are still on the roster? Not only does Payton want to calm the waters publicly with both receivers, in case the team can’t trade either of them, but he also doesn’t want to diminish either receivers value by publicly putting them on the trade block.
It’s clear the Broncos want a significant return for either receiver—a first-round pick for Jeudy and a second-round pick for Sutton—and aren’t interested in simply giving either player away. But there’s a reason both players have been in non-stop trade rumors for over a month. It’s because the Broncos, at the right price, would be willing to trade one of them.
The fact it’s gone on for weeks tells me that a deal for one of them will likely be done at some point before the draft is over. But there is no rush for the Broncos to settle for less than what they want now. But by the time the draft rolls around, the Broncos, or another team, will bend just enough for Denver to trade one of their receivers.
I’m not saying it’s the right move, but where there is smoke, there is fire. And there’s been a lot of smoke surrounding this for quite a bit of time.
RK: No — I think the Broncos have played this perfectly. They obviously would love to increase their draft capital in this cycle but they aren’t acting desperately.
Sure, you could make the case that getting a first-round pick for Jerry Jeudy or a third-round pick for Courtland Sutton would be a good move, but you’d be hard pressed to replace the quality of those players on your roster with less than that.
The Broncos have a talent issue on the offensive side of the ball, so settling for less than what those two players are worth just to stock up on draft picks who likely wont be as talented as they are could be a catastrophic move.
The wode receiver trade market is cold right now, so the Broncos are sitting back. If that market were to flip as we get closer to a draft with a pretty weak wide receiver crop, things could change, but as of now I don’t see Denver making a move simply because they aren’t going to get what they believe those guys are with.
Keep that hard line in the sand.
Hank: No — Making a move at receiver to save money and recoup draft capital makes sense, but selling off Jerry Jeudy or Courtland Sutton when their stock is at its lowest—they were part of the league’s worst offense last season—is bad business. To this point, nobody has offered fair market value for either player, and I don’t expect that to change. There’s no reason to panic sell, especially if the Broncos want to give Russell Wilson the best chance of success in his second year.
The Broncos will spend the third-most money in the NFL on receivers this season, despite having a fairly average room. Their $42 million price tag this season should balloon past $50 million in 2024. At some point in the next 14 months, the Broncos will probably have to make a move at receiver.
Unless another offers a package they can’t refuse, Denver will use this season to evaluate who fits best into the new offense, while building up trade values in the process. Next offseason is when they’ll pull the trigger on a deal.