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Broncos GM George Paton on Tim Patrick Extension: 'His Perseverance is Remarkable'

The Broncos' general manager has spoken.

The Denver Broncos surprised the Mile High City by inking veteran wideout Tim Patrick to a three-year extension on Friday. The team confirmed the agreement on Saturday. 

In a press release, GM George Paton issued a statement that perfectly encapsulates why the Broncos prioritized the retaining of Patrick and why he was rewarded by the team. 

"Tim Patrick has worked incredibly hard to emerge as one of the top wide receivers in the NFL," Paton said. "The perseverance Tim has shown to develop from an undrafted free agent to such a dependable and dynamic player is remarkable. We're thrilled to agree to terms with him on this well-deserved contract extension. The best is yet to come with Tim as such an important part of the Denver Broncos."

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In his fourth year, the 6-foot-4, 212-pound Patrick has appeared in 49 NFL games with 31 starts. He was signed to the Broncos' practice squad as a rookie in 2017 after originally getting his start in Baltimore as a college free agent out of the University of Utah. 

The San Francisco 49ers briefly rostered Patrick as a rookie before waiving him. That's when the Broncos pounced. 

All in, Patrick has totaled 127 career receptions for 1,798 yards (14.2 avg.) and 11 touchdowns. Since the beginning of the 2020 season, he leads the Broncos with 1,265 receiving yards and 10 scores. 

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Patrick's double-digit touchdowns since the 2020 season began ties for the third-most among any undrafted players over that span. The only NFL players with more are Minnesota's Adam Thielen (21) and Green Bay's tight end Robert Tonyan (13). 

In the absence of Courtland Sutton last year, Patrick really stepped up for the Broncos, leading a young wide receiver corps laden with rookies. He went the entire campaign without a dropped pass. 

Per reports, Patrick's three-year deal is worth $34.5 million and includes $18.5 million guaranteed. As well-deserved as Patrick's extension is, all eyes now turn to Sutton, whom the Broncos drafted in the second round back in 2018 and earned a Pro Bowl nod in Year 2. 

With a projected $56 million in cap space in 2022, the Broncos will have the room to re-sign Sutton. However, the veteran wideout could command top-of-the-line money on the open market so it'd behoove Paton to get cracking on a Sutton extension during this season. 

If all else fails, the Broncos could franchise-tag Sutton, which would buy Paton time to continue negotiating a multi-year extension without the pesky competition of outside clubs. Failing an accord, though, the franchise tag would be a temporary solution to a longer-term problem. 

Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen.

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