Courtland Sutton’s career as a Denver Bronco has been chaotic. Through six seasons, he’s dealt with a quarterback carousel including Case Keenum, Joe Flacco, Drew Lock, Teddy Bridgewater, Brett Rypien, and Russell Wilson. In fact, 2023 marks the first time in his NFL career that he’s played with the same starting quarterback in back-to-back seasons.
Despite some drawbacks and disappointing seasons, Sutton has remained a consistent presence for a team in desperate need of some consistency. However, it’s possible that this Sunday is the last time fans will ever see him in a Broncos jersey again.

From Farm to Football

Sutton, hailing from Brenham, TX, spent his formative years on his family’s farm, dedicating many weekends to chores. When the labor was done, he found solace in his favorite pastime: fishing.
His deeply rooted work ethic played out on the football field during his time at Brenham High School. In his senior year, Sutton earned accolades as a first-team All-District tight end and a second-team safety. Despite his efforts, Brenham fell short to Aledo High School in the UIL 4A Division 2 state championship game.
Coming out of high school, Sutton, a three-star prospect per 247Sports, received offers from BYU, Colorado, and Rice. He ultimately committed to Southern Methodist University (SMU). Recognizing Sutton’s towering 6’3″ frame, then-SMU’s wide receiver coach, Justin Stepp, redirected his talents from playing safety to wide receiver. His transition yielded remarkable results during his college career.
After playing in only two games in his first year due to an injury, he took a medical redshirt. As a redshirt freshman, Sutton made an immediate impact. He started all 12 games, amassing 49 receptions for 862 yards and nine touchdowns, setting an SMU freshman record in receiving yards. Sutton maintained his momentum the following year, recording 76 receptions for 1,246 yards and ten touchdowns, leading his team in all statistical categories. In his final season, he started all 13 games, earning a spot on the Associated Press’ All-American Second Team and the All-American Athletic Conference’s First Team.
As his collegiate career drew to a close, Sutton’s legacy at SMU was undeniable. He left the school ranked second in touchdowns (31), third in receiving yards (3,220), and sixth in receptions (195). Following his final standout season, Sutton officially declared his intent to enter the 2018 NFL Draft.

No. 1 Receiver Status

Denver selected Sutton in the second round (40th overall) of the 2018 NFL Draft.
During his rookie season, he initially sat behind Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders on the depth chart. However, his opportunities expanded after Thomas was traded mid-season. By the end of his rookie campaign, Sutton had recorded 42 receptions for 704 yards and four touchdowns.
In his second year, Sutton’s performance took a significant leap. He amassed 1,112 yards and scored six touchdowns, earning a well-deserved invitation to the 2019 Pro Bowl. With Thomas and Sanders both having been traded, Sutton became the undisputed No. 1 receiver for the Broncos. Unfortunately, his 2020 season was cut short when he suffered an ACL tear in Week 2, causing him to miss the remainder of the year.
Sutton signed a lucrative four-year contract extension in 2021 with the Broncos worth $60.8 million, securing his presence through the 2025 season. That year, he posted modest numbers with 776 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
With an additional year of recovery from his ACL tear, great expectations surrounded Sutton in 2022. The arrival of Russell Wilson amplified this optimism. Though the season was a disappointment for the Broncos, Sutton had 829 receiving yards, his highest total since his sophomore season.
It’s undeniable that, this season, Sutton has become Wilson’s go-to target, leading the team in targets (43), receptions (31), receiving yards (351), and receiving touchdowns (five). Trade rumors involving Sutton have circulated since the preseason. As the trade deadline looms just days away, it remains uncertain whether these speculations will materialize. Should Sutton remain with the team, fans can anticipate seeing more of his impactful presence on the field.