Now that the Denver Broncos have a head coach in place with Sean Payton coming to the Mile High City, the fun speculation can begin about what players could wind up joining him. Of course, not every former Saints player or player with a connection to Payton will wind up playing for the Broncos, but it stands to reason that Payton will want to target at least a few players to upgrade this Denver roster in 2023 who can help ease the transition into his program.
Looking at the free agent class of 2023 as well as some players that could be on the trade or cut block, there are plenty of names to file away and put on the radar with about six weeks until NFL free agency kicks off.
What players should you be keeping on the radar? Let’s take a look at seven, with a mix of guys on both sides of the ball.
7 players that could follow Sean Payton to the Denver Broncos in 2023
1. Brandin Cooks, WR, Houston Texans (trade target)
The wide receiver position is going to be a massive area of focus for the Denver Broncos in 2023, regardless of the perception from the outside looking in. This team has to look back over the last handful of years and realize that going into a season with talented receivers on paper means absolutely nothing.
The Broncos might need some proven players in their offense at receiver after missing Tim Patrick last season, KJ Hamler for most of the year, and Courtland Sutton really not taking a step forward as many expected him to. We could be in line for a bit of a reset at the position with Jerry Jeudy and Tim Patrick as core players moving forward.
Could the Broncos dangle a mid-round pick at the Texans to reunite Sean Payton with Brandin Cooks? It would make plenty of sense. Cooks is a sure-handed target who has caught over 65 percent of his career targets. The Broncos had just one player last year (Jerry Jeudy) who caught over 60 percent of his targets at the wide receiver position that actually played the majority of snaps.
Courtland Sutton’s catch percentage was down under 59 percent.
A player like Cooks could give the Broncos a dynamic option in the short-term and is someone Sean Payton is obviously very familiar with.