We’ve all seen the talk surrounding the Denver Broncos and whether they are going to move star wide receiver Jerry Jeudy.
It can be difficult to report on active situations. The ever-changing nature of events can mean that something is true in the moment and then not later.
With the NFL, there’s always the public relations aspect of everything, and an attempt to always assuage egos. Whether players, agents or front offices, everyone wants their words couched and nuanced. It’s to the point that it gives them wiggle room on what may be true in the moment, but not later.
On social media, it can be even tougher to properly nuance, given the limitations of the mediums. All that to ask the question whether the Denver Broncos are shopping their wide receivers?
Yes and no.
In football, much like the military, you have to look your teammates in the eye and tell them you believe in them. That you’d not rather follow anyone else into battle.
That you’re invested in them. This becomes a problem in professional sports when you’re attempting to improve you roster.
If you’re looking to improve via trade you have to walk a tightrope of not letting the player that you’re possibly going to trade, know. Why? Because the minute that player finds out, they know you don’t have that belief in them. If you believed they were the guy, like you’d likely been telling them, you would be trying to move someone else?
But it goes further. What if you’re trying to make a trade and it falls through? Well now that player knows that you don’t believe in them, and they’re simply waiting for the other shoe to drop. That attitude and self-doubt is pervasive and can torpedo a locker room.
Enter the Denver Broncos.
More on Denver Broncos trade rumors surrounding Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy
The Broncos aren’t in a true rebuild. The defense is good, but the offense was near historically bad last season despite having some promising pieces and adding a quarterback many presumed on a Hall of Fame track in that of Russell Wilson.
They’re not really in a “reload” because there isn’t an outflow of talent that needs replacing. They’re in a “re-mold” as they acquire talent and attempt to reshape to the new hired coach in Sean Payton.
The free agent acquisitions the Denver Broncos have made thus far don’t exactly scream an offense that’s going to be slinging the ball all over the yard. Right Tackle Mike McGlinchey is best known for his road grading run blocking and guard Ben Powers is known for his ability to pull.
Tight end Chris Manhertz (despite a basketball background) is best known as a heavy run blocker and fullback Mike Burton is more the classic lead blocker that utility h-back Andrew Beck was previously. Even tweener Lil’Jordan Humphrey is best known for his blocking.
Coupled with new running back Samaje Perine, and Denver looks like it’s head for a season of “bully ball.”
The Denver Ground-cos, as it were.
Not that I have a problem with letting Russ knit instead of cook, especially after last year. But what to do with all the wide receivers that you’ve paid and drafted in the last few years if they no longer fit the vision of what the offense is going to be?
The Broncos did “shop” Jerry Jeudy at last season’s NFL trade deadline. Several teams had interest including the Miami Dolphins and Dallas Cowboys. Ultimately, no deal was consummated.
Why is “shop” in quotation marks you ask? Because in NFL vernacular to shop a player means you were actively making call seeking to trade a player away.
Are the Broncos “shopping” Jerry Jeudy now? Yes and no. No, they aren’t actively soliciting teams trying to trade him away. But they also aren’t hanging up on teams that are calling. Including the aforementioned Cowboys, the Cleveland Browns and the New England Patriots have called, among others.
Multiple sources have told me they felt like a second-round draft pick and a fourth rounder would have got the job done at the trade deadline last year.
Jeudy obviously had a very promising run down the stretch last year, and those same sources feel like the price has “gone up.” It is believed Denver is asking for a first for Jeudy but might take a high second and a player to move him.
He’s 23 years old and looked like he’d had a revelation down the stretch last year when the team moves him from the slot to the X wide receiver spot.
- Jerry Jeudy stats (2022): 67 receptions, 972 yards, 6 TD, 67.0% catch rate
The team is not just going to give him away. They also don’t want to appear as though they are trying to trade him for the aforementioned player reasons and because you lose leverage in trade negotiations if you appear to want to part with something.
There’s a real scenario where Courtland Sutton and Jeudy are both traded this off-season. There’s a real scenario where Denver winds up keeping both.
Long story short, are the Denver Broncos shopping Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy? Yes and no. It remains to be seen whether either or both get traded.
Benjamin Allbright covers the NFL for Sportsnaut. You can follow him on Twitter @AllbrightNFL.