The Denver Broncos are low on draft capital but they won’t be trading either of their starting outside receivers to accumulate picks, coach Sean Payton said Sunday from the annual league meeting in Phoenix.
Amid trade rumors involving Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton, Payton acknowledged to NFL Network that the Broncos have received trade interest in both players but said Denver has no plans to trade either player.
“I see and read just like everyone else does. Then occasionally, when someone really crowds the plate, I throw a fastball right at their chin, and they back up, and they’re like, ‘All right.’ And so, I haven’t thrown any fastballs lately, but we’re not trading those two players,” Payton said.
“When people call and the phone rings like it does this time of year, [general manager] George Paton’s job is to pick it up and say, ‘Hey. Tell you what, we’re not.’ And so, we’ve received calls, you bet,” he added. “Those are two good football players. But we’re in the business of gathering talent right now. Why do people call? Because they know we’re void of draft picks and that we might, because there was some discussions a year ago, I think, regarding Courtland. But we like the current group that we’re working with.”
League sources, including some with teams that have been in contact with the Broncos, have told ESPN’s Jeff Legwold that the Broncos have been resolute about getting a first- or second-round pick in any deal that involved Jeudy. The Broncos must decide by May 1 — two days after the draft concludes — if they are going to pick up Jeudy’s fifth-year option.
Because of the trades to acquire quarterback Russell Wilson from the Seattle Seahawks last year and Payton from the New Orleans Saints this year, the Broncos won’t have a selection until the third round — picks Nos. 67 and 68. They have five selections in the 2023 draft.
Jeudy, who will turn 24 on April 24, led the team in catches (67), receiving yards (972) and touchdowns (6) last season and was the only player on the league’s lowest scoring offense to have more than two touchdown receptions.
Sutton, 27, was second on the Broncos with 64 catches and 829 yards last season. He had two touchdown receptions.