The Denver Broncos appear to be on the cusp of adding yet another former New Orleans Saints player, this time bringing in wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith for a visit to help the team's somewhat weak wide receiver group. I say somewhat weak because the Broncos have "names" at the receiver position, but they really lack quality depth there and even a player like Smith, a castoff of the Saints at this point, feels like a bit of a gift from the football gods.
Obviously, you don't want to get too far ahead of yourself here, but that report really reads like the Denver Broncos are planning on signing Tre'Quan Smith as soon as all of the other details are ironed out. It's not a certainty (as of the time of this post being written) but it feels like about as close as you can get to one.
So what does this signing mean?
Well, perhaps the Denver Broncos agree that their wide receiver room needs an upgrade or two. They brought in a number of guys to the practice squad (Phillip Dorsett, David Sills, Michael Bandy) after keeping just four receivers on their 53-man roster initially. They have Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, Marvin Mims, Brandon Johnson, and Lil'Jordan Humphrey currently on the roster at that position.
With Greg Dulcich down, pass-catching options have been relatively thin, although some of that is the Broncos' own doing. Through three weeks, Courtland Sutton is pacing the team with 23 targets. Jerry Jeudy and Marvin Mims have combined for just 21. Even with Jeudy missing a game due to injury (Week 1), it still feels like the Broncos have overly prioritized Sutton in the passing game with such dynamic weapons in Jeudy and Mims, averaging 13.3 and 27.9 yards per catch, respectively.
It makes you wonder, given the state of the team, if the Broncos are bringing in a player like Tre'Quan Smith in anticipation of a future Courtland Sutton trade. Sutton was the subject of offseason trade rumors this year and the Broncos ultimately didn't take any of the bait. After starting the season 0-3, it will take a massive turnaround to prevent the Broncos from doing at least a little bit of selling at this year's trade deadline to accumulate as many draft picks as possible.
Tre'Quan Smith is a big body receiver (6-foot-2, 210 pounds) who actually came into the NFL the same year as Courtland Sutton back in 2018. Smith looked like he was on his way to becoming a very productive WR2 early on in his NFL career, but sort of hit a plateau and has obviously completely fallen out of favor in New Orleans at this point. Still, he's just 27 years old and has a career average of nearly 14 yards per reception with 18 touchdowns.
Although this move would have been super underwhelming as a roster cut trade just a few weeks ago, I don't mind it at all for the Broncos (if it happens) as a free agent pickup here through three weeks. Smith will be able to come in and play pretty immediately if need be having familiarity with the offense.
The question is -- in what capacity? Hopefully, the Broncos are able to start filtering the offense more through Jeudy and Mims, and Smith can simply come in for a package of plays and be some type of additional weapon. The last thing you really want is a guy like this to have to become a major part of your offense at any point, but I wouldn't be surprised to see it if the Broncos end up eventually trading Courtland Sutton.