The Denver Broncos had a number of teams calling at the NFL trade deadline. They reportedly turned down a strong offer for wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, and they got calls on a number of other players. And teams were so bold as to ask about star cornerback Pat Surtain II.
You've got to shoot your shot, right?
According to Pro Football Talk, the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles -- two of the best teams in the NFL with two of the most aggressive general managers -- were each trying to get Pat Surtain II at the deadline.
Who knows how hard they were really trying, though...
According to Pro Football Talk's piece on the report (which was corroborated by Adam Schefter of ESPN), both the 49ers and Eagles just "explored" the possibility of trading for Surtain. I don't think there was ever really an offer on the table for Surtain from either of these teams, but Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton did say the Broncos would be professional and pick up the phone if teams were calling.
And the asking price on Pat Surtain II would have been astronomically high. He is arguably the best player at his position in the NFL, and he's only in his third NFL season at this point. With two more years after this year on his rookie deal, Surtain is undoubtedly as close as it gets to "off limits" on a roster like Denver's right now and would be someone who would land the team a haul of multiple first-round picks and more if they were to seriously consider trading him.
The San Francisco 49ers had already previously struck a deal with the Denver Broncos in exchange for pass rusher Randy Gregory, so that line of communication was already open. As a matter of fact, George Paton and Sean Payton have already had plenty of talks with Eagles GM Howie Roseman including striking a trade at roster cuts involving tight end Albert Okwuegbunam.
Relationships are key in making trades in the NFL, there's no doubt about it.
So why didn't the Denver Broncos entertain more seriously the idea of trading Surtain? I'm sure they could have gotten multiple first-round picks from either of these teams if they really wanted them, but talks clearly never got that far. Part of the problem with the 49ers and Eagles is that you would be trading Surtain for picks that are extremely low in each round.
Let's say these two teams end up where they did a season ago, which is to say they make it to the NFC Championship game or better. You're then talking about a draft pick for Pat Surtain II that is no better than 29th overall in the 1st round? That's simply unacceptable, even if you can get a future first-round pick as well.
There's no reason to think the 49ers or Eagles will be bad next year.
Of course, contending teams want to call about good players on bad teams, but the Broncos are in a position where they'd rather find a way to "flip the switch" this season than make a fire sale type of deal like this. It's for the best that the Broncos held on to Pat Surtain, especially with these two NFC powerhouses being the primary suitors.