Denver Broncos: Courtland Sutton is an extension candidate

Denver Broncos WR Courtland Sutton. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos WR Courtland Sutton. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /

Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton is almost due for a contract extension, but what would an extension look like for the Pro Bowler?

It’s common knowledge to most who pay attention to the NFL that the Denver Broncos have a ton of young stars.  One of those young stars who is due for a pay raise is Pro Bowl wide receiver Courtland Sutton.

Remember him?

In my view, Sutton is a top-12 player at his position in the league, and I think he can get much better.  His breakout, Pro Bowl 2019 campaign saw him catch passes from Elite Joe Flacco, Brett Rypien, and a rookie Drew Lock.

Even with subpar QB play, he still managed to amass over 1,100 yards and 6 touchdowns.  For context, his 2019 receiving yard total would have put him at 14th in the league for 2020.

We all know that Courtland Sutton is a baller.  He is a true X receiver who can gain separation with his massive frame.  Sutton can do all of the dirty work that comes with being a productive NFL receiver, and in 2021, teams will have to gameplan for him, Jerry Jeudy, Tim Patrick, and Noah Fant, among others.

With the current offensive personnel, Sutton is poised to have a massive bounceback year, and I truly think he can be in the Comeback Player of the Year conversation if Von Miller doesn’t win it.

If Sutton picks up where he left off in 2019, George Paton will have to open up the checkbook and pay 14 what he deserves.

But, what would a Sutton extension look like?

Courtland Sutton’s situation is a tad more complicated because of his unfortunate ACL injury in 2020, so his total value might be a bit lower because of that.

Still though, Sutton will be just 26 this year and should have most of his prime left.

I think a good place to start for a contract extension is to look at what Kenny Golladay just earned from the New York Football Giants.

Back in March, the former Lions receiver signed a four-year, $72 million deal with the Giants.  The deal has $40 million in guarantees and a total maximum of $76 million.  Mind you, Golladay will be 28 this season, so he’s two full years older than Sutton, and he had a shortened 2020 campaign like Sutton did, appearing in just five games.

Given that the salary cap is set to increase in the coming years, and given that Golladay signed his extension in the ‘salary cap crunch’ offseason, it’s totally possible that Sutton exceeds both numbers–years and total dollars.

This becomes even more true if Sutton has a 2021 season we all know he’s capable of.  If Sutton does start the year strong and continues throughout, I have to wonder if George Paton would consider doing a deal during the season, to keep Sutton from hitting the market.  Not only that, the Denver Broncos are still sitting on a lot of cap space, so they would have the room.

Former GM John Elway signed key players during the season at a few points in his career, so it’s been done before.

Even if a deal doesn’t happen until after the season, and even if it isn’t with the Denver Broncos, Sutton is sure to command a lot of money

I could see an extension approaching $20 million in AAV, with total dollars around $80-$100 million, depending on if it’s a four or five-year deal.

The guarantees would also probably creep close to $50 million as well.

I don’t mean to brag, but I did predict Justin Simmons’ contract extension nearly on the nose; I was off by $1 million, so I am mostly confident in my assessment for a Sutton deal.

Would George Paton give Sutton this massive contract extension with players like Bradley Chubb, Noah Fant, and Dalton Risner soon due for deals?  Also, with the depth of the wide receiver room, I have to wonder if Paton has a strict limit on how high he’d be willing to go on an extension.

Whatever happens, I do expect Sutton to cash in next year, whether with the Broncos or someone else.