The Denver Broncos are making significant changes under new head coach Sean Payton. As wide receivers Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton are floated in NFL trade rumors, the Broncos’ evaluation of both players seems to be preventing a possible trade.
Denver is seemingly attempting to take advantage of the current situation around the league. The pool of top NFL free agents at wide receiver was thin with no evaluators believing a true No. 1 receiver, or even a high-end No. 2 receiver, was available on the open market.
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It shifted the attention of receiver-needy teams to the trade market. However, the Arizona Cardinals’ asking price for a DeAndre Hopkins trade has driven clubs to look in another direction. All of that puts the spotlight on Jeudy and Sutton, young wide receivers who offer high upside but at a much lower salary than Hopkins.
- Jerry Jeudy stats (2022): 67 receptions, 972 receiving yards, 14.5 yards per catch
However, early talks with the Broncos’ front office have reportedly left rival teams with the impression that Denver is overvaluing its wide receivers.
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According to Jeff Howe of The Athletic, the Broncos “continue to think more highly of Jeudy than other teams” in terms of his acquisition cost. It’s a similar sentiment with regard to Sutton, who no one in the league believes is a No. 1 receiver yet Denver’s asking price remains too high.
- Courtland Sutton stats (2022): 64 receptions, 829 receiving yards, 38 first downs
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Sutton, age 27, hasn’t performed like a No. 1 receiver since suffering an ACL tear in 2020. As for Jeudy, NFL evaluators see a long injury history and a lack of consistent production over a long period of time when he managed to stay on the field.
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Denver reportedly still wants a late first-round pick or early second-round pick for Sutton, with the coaching staff still confident it can get more out of him in 2023. While the acquisition cost for Sutton is lower, his salary diminishes his trade value.
Teams will continue to monitor the Broncos’ situation in the weeks leading up to the 2023 NFL Draft, but many of them might wait to see if they can land one of their top wide receiver prospects. For now, it appears Jeudy and Sutton will remain in Denver.