Sean Payton says Broncos aren’t trading Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton: What it means for Denver’s offense

Denver Broncos coach Sean Payton told NFL Network on Sunday that the Broncos are “not trading” wide receivers Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The comments come amid recent trade rumors surrounding the two receivers, whom Payton said the team has received calls about.
  • Jeudy and Sutton led Denver last season with 972 and 829 receiving yards, respectively.
  • Payton added: “We’re in the business of gathering talent right now…We like the current group that we’re working with.”

The Athletic’s instant analysis:

What have the rumors been surrounding Jeudy and Sutton?

As Payton alluded to in his NFL Network interview, the Broncos are short on capital for this year’s draft. They have only five picks and none in the first two rounds, a result of consecutive offseason trades for quarterback Russell Wilson and Payton himself. General manager George Paton said at the NFL Combine in late February that Denver would like to add more picks before the draft, though he added it wouldn’t be easy to do so.

Given that need for picks, Jeudy and Sutton stand out as possible targets for numerous factors, but most notably because the Broncos have depth of talent at wide receiver they don’t have at other positions. Jeudy was among the NFL’s most productive receivers over the final six games of last season, flashing the kind of game-changing talent the Broncos believed he could produce when they selected him in the first round of the 2020 draft. Sutton was a Pro Bowler in 2019, and though he hasn’t matched that production since suffering a torn ACL in 2020, he has still been a reliable target for Denver’s offense, missing only two games the past two seasons. — Kosmider

What does Payton’s declaration mean for Denver’s offense?

It means that Wilson will have three experienced top targets in Jeudy, Sutton and Tim Patrick, who is returning from his own ACL injury suffered early in training camp last year. Denver has also signed free agent Marquez Callaway, another player from Payton’s past in New Orleans, and have another veteran contributor in Kendall Hinton. Also, speedster K.J. Hamler is entering the fourth year of his rookie contract and has shown impressive flashes as a deep-ball target, though a pectoral injury makes his availability for the start of the season unclear.

Health has been an issue for Denver’s receivers in the past. Sutton, Patrick, Jeudy and Hamler have all missed at least seven games in a season since 2020. But if they can avoid injuries, the Broncos could have their most complete wide receivers room since their playoff drought began in 2016. — Kosmider

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(Photo: Ray Seebeck / USA Today)

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