Rumor Mill Links Eagles to Disgruntled Broncos WR Courtland Sutton

Pressure is building for the Denver Broncos to either make Courtland Sutton happy or trade him.
Nov 19, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton (14) catches a touchdown over Minnesota Vikings cornerback Mekhi Blackmon (5) in the fourth quarter at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 19, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton (14) catches a touchdown over Minnesota Vikings cornerback Mekhi Blackmon (5) in the fourth quarter at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Over the weekend, we learned that the Denver Broncos have "rebuffed" multiple trade inquiries on the currently disgruntled Courtland Sutton. The veteran wideout has yet to show up for any of the Broncos' offseason training program — all of which have been voluntary — and the signal that sends to the league is "I'm not happy."

Sutton is looking for a sweetener of sorts on his $13.5 million base salary this season. According to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, Sutton wants to earn between $15-$16.5 million in 2024, even though he's got two years left on his contract.

The Broncos aren't interested in trading Sutton, right now, and based on the latest scuttlebutt, the team will likely come to the negotiating table when training camp rolls around. In the meantime, other potential suitors could enter the picture.

All it takes is one team to make the Broncos an offer they couldn't refuse, and Sutton would be gone. That's the NFL. Very, very few players are untouchable in that regard.

Bleacher Report's Matt Holder has linked the Philadelphia Eagles as an obvious fit for Sutton, pounding the digital table for the Broncos to cut a deal.

"Denver is probably a year or two away from being a legitimate playoff contender. It would make sense to acquire draft picks for an aging player who wants a new contract, especially since the trade rumors will only intensify if the Broncos stumble out of the gates.

"Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Eagles have the fifth-most cap space available in the NFL right now at roughly $26.8 million. Also, free-agent signee DeVante Parker surprisingly retired in mid-May, and Parker was likely going to be the Eagles' jump-ball specialist this season.

"Sutton could fill that role and create a dangerous trio of wideouts with A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith as Philadelphia attempts to make another Super Bowl run," Holder wrote.

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The Eagles have also been connected to former Broncos safety Justin Simmons in free-agent rumors throughout the offseason. Nothing ever came of it, and I doubt Sutton-to-Philly will be any different.

The bottom line is this: The 28-year-old Sutton is worth more to the Broncos on the roster than whatever trade offers the team has received this offseason. As soon as that equation tips in favor of Denver valuing a trade offer higher than what Sutton can bring to Sean Payton's offense, he'll be gone.

The question is, what does an offer the Broncos couldn't refuse look like? Something like a second-round pick, probably. And although Sutton totaled 10 touchdowns last year in a low-volume passing offense, his yardage (772) and reception (59) numbers weren't commensurate with how the NFL values a receiver worth acquiring in exchange for a second-round pick.

Heck, maybe a third-rounder would get it done. But I doubt it. Offer the Broncos an early Day 2 draft pick, and the former 2019 Pro Bowler would be as good as gone.

If it came to that, it would hurt the Broncos' passing offense by depriving rookie quarterback Bo Nix of a bonafide playmaker. But there are other receivers being groomed in Denver behind Sutton, including Nix's No. 1 target at Oregon, Troy Franklin.

Plus, Tim Patrick is returning this year, provided he can avoid the bite of the injury bug. The Broncos could still get that sausage made sans Sutton, but it wouldn't be a matter of course — unless a lower-profile receiver suddenly emerged and broke out on the NFL scene.

True franchise quarterbacks tend to increase the likelihood of such an emergence. But Nix is yet to prove conclusively that he is a franchise guy because he's yet to take an NFL snap.

The Broncos obviously believe it to be so, hence the team investing the No. 12 overall pick in Nix. But the NFL is a production-based business. Nix has to first prove that he deserves the starting job, then produce some results on the field, especially in the standings.

Stay tuned.

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Chad Jensen

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.