Broncos HC Sean Payton Denies Trade Rumors Surrounding Denver WRs

Broncos HC Sean Payton
Feb 12, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, US; Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton on the sidelines during Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

In recent weeks, the idea of the Denver Broncos potentially trading WRs Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton entered the forefront of NFL rumors. Naturally, with their need for a WR2 next season, the Minnesota Vikings became a rumored landing spot for one of these players. However, based on some comments from Broncos HC Sean Payton, these players may have never been available to begin with.

Former Vikings beat writer Chris Tomasson, who recently started covering the Broncos at the Denver Gazette, tweeted a quote from the Broncos head coach on Monday morning saying, “You read a bunch of things that are written now, and I would say a number of teams have called on those players but… it’s not something we’re interested in doing.”

NFL: International Series-Denver Broncos at Jacksonville Jaguars
Oct 30, 2022; London, United Kingdom, Denver Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (10) is congratulated by wide receiver Courtland Sutton (14) after scoring a touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second quarter during an NFL International Series game at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

These comments came after an owners meeting over the weekend where Payton also told NFL Network that Denver would not be trading either Jeudy or Sutton. “We’re not trading those two players,’’ Payton said. “When people call and the phone rings like it does this time of year, 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. Those are two good football players.”

Perhaps one of the teams calling to inquire about one of these two receivers was the Vikings, but it doesn’t appear that we’ll see either of them suit up in purple anytime soon. This leaves Minnesota with three likely options to fill their WR2 spot this offseason:

  • Trust K.J. Osborn with an increased workload
  • Draft a wide receiver with a top-100 pick
  • Sign a veteran like Odell Beckham Jr.
Dec 17, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Overall, an offense with Justin Jefferson and one of these two Denver receivers, especially Jerry Jeudy, would have been a dynamic group. After a slow start to his career following a first-round selection by Denver in the 2020 Draft, the young receiver truly began coming into his own in his third season by recording 67 receptions, 972 yards, and 6 TDs over 15 games.

That being said, Jeudy’s fifth-year option has not been picked up by Denver yet, and if the Broncos don’t perform that action by May 1st, the receiver will hit free agency following the 2023 season. Given Payton’s comments regarding Jeudy’s trade status, it seems likely that he will get the option, but this is still worth noting. If the Vikings are interested, there remains the possibility that they could target him in free agency next offseason.

Aug 5, 2022; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (10) during training camp at the UCHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

There is also the matter of Jefferson’s own contract with the Vikings. His fifth-year option will cost them $19.7 million in 2024, and his next contract could be upwards of $30 million per year. It may make more sense for the Vikings to find another cheaper receiver in the draft rather than try to pay two of them at once.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.