Broncos Set to Retain Ex-Pro Bowl Star

Denver navigates complex financial waters amid roster decisions.

by Nouman Rasool
Broncos Set to Retain Ex-Pro Bowl Star
© Harry How/Getty Images

In a strategic move that defies the constraints of a tight salary cap, the Denver Broncos are set to retain their star wide receiver, Courtland Sutton, affirming their commitment to maintaining a strong offensive lineup. Despite facing financial challenges, the Broncos' decision underscores their belief in Sutton's pivotal role within the team.

Veteran Denver sports journalist Mike Klis has revealed insights into Sutton's future with the team, noting that he has two remaining years on his contract, valued at $13.5 million and $14 million respectively, neither of which is guaranteed.

This development sparks speculation about who will emerge as Sutton's primary counterpart on the field, especially considering that Jerry Jeudy, another key receiver, has been the subject of trade rumors in recent times. Sutton, a former Pro Bowl honoree, has proven to be a more enticing prospect for trade discussions than Jeudy, thanks to his impressive track record.

Last season, Sutton distinguished himself by tying for third in the NFL with 10 receiving touchdowns, alongside accumulating 59 catches for 772 yards over 16 games. Jeudy, on the other hand, managed just two receiving touchdowns in an equal number of games.

Broncos' Cap Dilemma

The financial intricacies facing the Broncos are further complicated by their current position of being $16.8 million above the salary cap, as estimated by Over The Cap. The team is also contemplating the release of quarterback Russell Wilson with a post-June 1 designation, a move that would entail $85 million in dead money over two years.

A potential trade involving Sutton post-June 1 could alleviate some financial pressure by saving $13.5 million in cap space. Despite these challenges, the necessity of retaining a reliable receiver like Sutton is paramount for the Broncos, who struggled offensively last season, ranking 24th in passing yards and 26th in receptions.

With the 12th overall pick in the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft, speculation is rife that the Broncos might select Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy, who would undoubtedly benefit from having proficient receivers like Sutton. Retaining Sutton, 28, aligns with the Broncos' broader strategy to rejuvenate their offense and reverse the trend of seven consecutive losing seasons.

The franchise, which last tasted playoff action in 2015, is eager to rebuild its roster around key talents, ensuring that Sutton's prowess as a pass-catcher remains a cornerstone of their offensive game plan.