PHOENIX — For weeks, Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton’s names have been circulating around the country in trade rumors.
From New England to Cleveland and many other NFL cities, the Denver Broncos’ two most notable receivers have been connected with multiple teams as speculation has flown around with hardly anything holding it back.
That changed on Sunday.
In a matter of 24 hours, Sean Payton did his best to shoot down any all all rumors involving Denver’s two receivers.
On Sunday, Payton told NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero that neither player will be traded.
“I see and read [the trade rumors] just like everyone else does,” Payton told NFL Network. “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.”
Payton followed up by adding it’s George Paton’s job to pick up the phone when other teams call about their players, but added Denver’s general manager tells teams “we’re not” trading either Jeudy or Sutton.
On Monday, at the NFL Owners Meetings, Payton doubled down on his stance when speaking to the media.
“I would say a number of teams have called on those players,” Payton admitted. “But I said it yesterday, that’s not something we’re interested in doing.”
Payton told the media they would have to “do [their] homework to figure out how it all got started,” but pointed to the team having a new coach and the draft not being deep at the receiver position as two reasons why the speculation has been rampant. However, Payton doesn’t expect the rumors will die down any time soon.
“Obviously, in the offseason, everyone wants to be on top of any type of transaction, I understand that. It’ll continue, I’m sure, as we get closer to the draft,” Payton added. “If you really look at the draft and you look at the receiver depth in the draft. It’s not a real deep draft. So if you’re a team that’s looking for receivers—we’re not the only team people called. I’m sure Houston, with Brandin Cooks, other players like that. It’s pretty common in the offseason I think.”
Last week, veteran receiver Brandin Cooks was traded from the Texans to the Cowboys in exchange for a 2023 fifth-round pick and a 2024 sixth-round pick. Denver, reportedly, is, or was, seeking far more in return for Jeudy and Sutton.
In fact, even after Payton told NFL Network on Sunday the team was not trading either receiver, Mike Klis reported that the Broncos weren’t going to trade either player unless they receive a first-round pick for Jeudy or a second-round pick for Sutton. It was previously reported the Patriots offered a second- and fourth-round pick for Jeudy. That didn’t move the needle far enough for the Broncos.
But according to Payton, the Broncos aren’t interested in moving on from either receiver.