Earlier this week, the Denver Broncos kicked off the start of their offseason program, and wide receiver Courtland Sutton won’t be present until he gets a new contract. Will the Broncos look to extend him or could he wind up being traded?

Denver Broncos WR Courtland Sutton seeking new contract

10 quarterbacks in seven seasons, that’s what Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton has dealt with since coming into the league in 2018. If he remains part of the roster, that will be the case yet again in 2024, as Denver could potentially draft a quarterback in the first round of next week’s NFL Draft.

Sutton’s career in Denver has had it’s fair share of ups and downs, with a lot of elements being out of his control. The Broncos have lacked stability in almost every facet of the offense since 2016, with a revolving door of head coaches, offensive coordinators, and of course, quarterbacks.

Denver has benefitted from Courtland’s big play capability throughout his career here in Denver, but he’s also overcome injuries. In 2020, Sutton suffered a torn ACL that ended his season early in Week 2.

From a production standpoint, Sutton had two touchdown catches in 2021 and two touchdown catches in 2022, before becoming the team’s top offensive producer this past season, hauling in 10 touchdown catches.

When it came to offensive productivity, Sutton was the most effective receiver on the roster when talking about yards and overall touchdowns. Former Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy had 758 yards which was several yards shy of Sutton’s, but he only hauled in two touchdowns.

According to Pro Football Reference, quarterbacks had a 120.2 passer rating when looking his way last season. In clutch moments, he came up big, including a game-winner against the Minnesota Vikings during Denver’s 4th quarter comeback.

On top of that, Sutton caught three of the NFL’s top ten passes this season including a wild toe-drag against the Buffalo Bills, which helped Denver win.

His tenure in Denver hasn’t been perfect, and while he’s hauled in big catch after big catch, he’s also struggled with drops the last few seasons, being credited for 15 total in the past two years.

Sutton only has $2M of guaranteed money remaining on the final two years of his deal, which is where he’s looking to get a new contract. From a salary cap standpoint, he accounts for $17.3M against the cap this season and will account for $17.8M against the cap next year in the final year of his deal.

At this point, the Broncos could extend Sutton, which would lower his overall cap hit and create more salary cap flexibility going into 2025, when the team is expected to be around $100M in space, or they could potentially trade him ahead of or during the NFL Draft to another team for capital.

Having been on the rumored block for the past two seasons, with various teams calling to express their interest in him, the Broncos have stood firm and kept him. It’s unlikely that Denver would get a first or second-round pick if they were to trade him, which is what they were initially looking for in the past two years for him.

It’s more likely that he’d go for a fourth or fifth-round pick, considering the market.

Denver’s offense is more valuable with a player like Sutton, whose size and athleticism can have an impact.

If the Broncos wanted to take the risk and part ways with him, they’d be relying on Tim Patrick, who is coming off of back-to-back season-ending injuries in training camp, Marvin Mims, Josh Reynolds, and a handful of players who don’t have significant experience.

Regardless, Sutton will likely not report for the team’s offseason program unless he gets a new deal if he remains on the team past the NFL Draft. The next notable timeline to watch for is when players report for mandatory minicamp on June 11-13 to see if he would report by then.