Should the Denver Broncos trade Courtland Sutton in 2023?

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

Denver Broncos’ fifth-year wide receiver Courtland Sutton has not had a great year, and I think the team should consider trading him in 2023.  The team is going to be very active this offseason and I think there will be a ton of roster movement.

One area where I can see a good bit of movement happen is with the wide receivers.  We’ve barely been able to see all of Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler, and Tim Patrick on the field, and given their respective histories, I’m not sure seeing them together in Denver is realistic.

Jerry Jeudy has emerged as a true threat and WR1 over the last several weeks and I think has just about established himself as the best wide receiver on the roster.

KJ Hamler has hardly made a dent in 2022 and I think the team ends up trying to get a draft pick for him next offseason.

Tim Patrick is recovering from a torn ACL and is not going anywhere.  While we have no idea how effective he’ll be when healthy, he’ll likely make a full recovery and should end up being fine.  He does turn 30 in 2023 which is something to keep an eye on too.

For the duration of Sutton’s extension he signed with the team in 2021, the Broncos will see the most cap savings if he’s moved this coming offseason.  The team would have to eat a hair under $4 million in dead money whether they’d trade him now or in another future year.

However, their cap savings are $14.5 million by trading him in 2023.  This is a huge number and I think the most ideal scenario here is to trade him while also trying to get a receiver back in the process.

Receiver is a need that I expect the team to target in the draft, but the Denver Broncos need impact players given their specific situation.  Trading Sutton and getting perhaps a draft pick and a receiver back might be the best move for both parties.

One idea is to see if the Houston Texans want to give Sutton a homecoming.  Sutton is from Texas and could aid in the development of whatever quarterback the Texans end up selecting.  They have two wide receivers that I’d personally be interested in.

Nico Collins, a second-year player, and Brandin Cooks, a solid veteran.  In both cases, I could see the Broncos trading Sutton for either and also getting a draft pick in return.  Nico Collins is a true X receiver like Sutton.  He’s a big-bodied target and is a young and extremely talented player.

Courtland Sutton is better than Collins is right now, but Collins has made an impact as a Texan and could flourish in 2023 with Russell Wilson throwing him the ball.  Brandin Cooks is more in the mold of KJ Hamler and is a few years older than Sutton.

Perhaps Denver could try and flip KJ Hamler and a draft pick for Cooks, but if not, packing Sutton in a deal to land Cooks and a draft pick could be an option.

The last trade that I think the Denver Broncos could explore would be in a similar mold.  Cardinals’ wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins doesn’t look like he’ll be in Arizona next year.  Perhaps the Cardinals would be willing to trade for Sutton, a younger and cheaper receiver.   They could unload Hopkins’ large contract and send over a draft pick in the deal.

Denver would get an immediate impact player and draft pick back in the trade.  Sure, Hopkins is a few years older than Courtland Sutton, but because of the situation the Broncos are in, it could make some sense.

I do think Sutton is a very talented receiver and would love to see him stay in Denver, but I think the team could have some options with him.