George Paton has earned rave reviews from Broncos Country for his work as the team’s general manager, and rightfully so.

He solved the team’s long-festering quarterback problem, won the award for constructing the NFL’s best draft class for 2021, and, according to PFF, has signed some of the smartest contracts in all of football.

Earlier this week, PFF complimented the overall health of Denver’s salary cap, and now we’re able to take a closer look at why the Broncos cap is so remarkably healthy. Bargain-bin contracts for talented stars like Courtland Sutton and Melvin Gordon are a key piece.

“New Denver Broncos general manager George Paton got right to work inking his club’s most important contributors to long-term deals in 2021, none more aptly timed than wide receiver Sutton’s four-year, $60 million extension in November 2021,” PFF’s Brad Spielberger wrote, ranking Sutton’s contract as the fourth-best deal in the entire NFL. “Twelve wide receivers have signed multi-year extensions for more than $15 million per year since, and several more could do so before Week 1 of the 2022 season kicks off.”

The WR market has sky-rocketed since Sutton signed his deal. While he’s making $15 million annually, numerous receivers will be making north of $25 million on a per-year basis. Plus, many of those expensive players have age concerns that Sutton doesn’t.

He does have some minor injury concerns, but he’s two year removed from those now.

“A torn ACL suffered in Week 2 of the 2020 season derailed a promising ascension, but Sutton regained his form right away in 2021 with a nine-reception, 159-yard outing in Week 2. He ultimately dropped just one of 95 targets on the year, and his downfield contested catch ability should marry beautifully with new quarterback Russell Wilson.”

The Russell Wilson point is an excellent one, as Sutton and Wilson are a picture-perfect pairing. Had the Broncos franchise-tagged Sutton and kicked the problem down the road a year, they would find themselves paying north of $25 million almost certainly. Now, Paton has $10 million extra to use to build a Super-Bowl-winning squad.

Sutton’s contract wasn’t the only one that PFF chose to highlight though. Along with Sutton’s deal being ranked as the fourth-best bargain in the NFL, Melvin Gordon’s one-year $2.5 million dollar contract ranks 32nd.

The fact an analytics-focused company is praising Paton’s signing of an aging running back is truly astounding and the ultimate testament to the amazing work he’s done during his short time on the job.