Broncos WR Courtland Sutton is Reportedly Seeking $2-3M Raise per Insider

Now we know why Courtland Sutton is holding out of Denver Broncos OTAs.
Dec 3, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton (14) warms up before playing against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 3, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton (14) warms up before playing against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports / Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
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Veteran wide receiver Courtland Sutton has been absent from the voluntary portion of the Denver Broncos offseason training program. Sutton is reportedly seeking a new contract, despite having two years left on his current deal.

Sutton is set to earn a $13.5 million base salary in 2024, but only $2 million of is guaranteed. Theories have abounded on exactly what the veteran wideout wants from the Broncos, wth some surmizing that he might simply be seeking more guarantees in his contract.

However, according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, Sutton is seeking a modest raise from the Broncos.

“He’s due about $13.6 million in cash this year,” Fowler said during a SportsCenter appearance. "He’d like to see that get up, maybe in that $15-$16 million range. We’ll see if they can find a sweet spot.”

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Fowler also reported that no "real progress" has been made between Sutton and the Broncos. However, head coach Sean Payton played down Sutton's hold-out thus far, saying last week followijgn an OTA practice, "That will sort itself out."

If Sutton is only seeking a $2-3 million raise, Payton's response is more understandable. For a playmaker who carried the Broncos' passing offense last year, totaling a career-high 10 receiving touchdowns, throwing a couple extra million on top of what he's making now wouldn't be asking for the world.

The Broncos will want to be smart about it, though, as Sutton is entering his age-29 season. He'll turn 30 in October of 2025, which is only a couple of months before his current contract expires. Broncos GM George Paton planned that well when he extended Sutton back in 2021.

Perhaps the Broncos don't need to add any years to the term of Sutton's contract, and instead, literally just give him a raise. Increase his $13.5M salary to, say, $15.5M, offer some additional money via playing time incentives, and convert more of it into guarantees.

Sutton hasn't missed any mandatory team activities thus far. But 9NEWS' Mike Klis, with some mandatory stuff coming up in June, did the research on what it would cost Sutton in fines to skip out on the requisite minicamp this summer, which is from June 11-13.

Klis wrote on Twitter that Sutton could be fined $16,953 for missing the first day of mandatory minicamp, $33,908 for the second, and $50,855 for the third day. It adds up to a pretty penny, but only if the Broncos enforced his contract and fined him.

For NFL players in Sutton's earning bracket, that's chump change. And he could make it all back and a heck of a lot more by coming out on the winning end of his hold-out and getting the Broncos to acquiesce.

Meanwhile, the Broncos aren't lacking pass-catchers, with Troy Franklin and Devaughn Vele added in the NFL draft, as well as Tim Patrick returning from injury. Throw in Marvin Mims Jr., Lil'Jordan Humphrey, Brandon Johnson, and others, and Bo Nix, Zach Wilson, and Jarrett Stidham have no shortage of guys to throw to during in OTAs.

But it sure would be nice to have the alpha dog in the house.

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Chad Jensen


Chad Jensen is the Founder of Mile High Huddle and creator of the wildly popular Mile High Huddle Podcast. Chad has been on the Denver Broncos beat since 2012 and is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America.