Bleacher Report ran an article about five teams who still need to make a huge move ahead of the 2023 NFL season. Could the Denver Broncos actually go through with this proposal? Earlier in the offseason, there were legitimate rumors that the Broncos were about to trade one of their Pro Bowl players to the Baltimore Ravens, but for some reason, it fell through.
That Pro Bowl player is Courtland Sutton. Sutton, 28 in October, has been with the Broncos since being drafted in 2018 and looked like their next WR1 in his Pro Bowl 2019 campaign where he caught 72 passes for 1,112 yards and six touchdowns.
He went down just one game into the 2020 season with a torn ACL and missed the rest of the season. Since returning from that injury in 2021 and 2022, he's put up 776 and 829 receiving yards and four total touchdowns, so nothing resembling WR1 production.
However, over a 17-game season, Sutton has averaged 63 receptions, 912 yards, and four touchdowns, so he has been a productive player since entering the league. In 2022 though, Jerry Jeudy seemed to leap him as the WR1 for the Broncos.
With the much-anticipated return of Tim Patrick from his torn ACL, I think a lot of us have paid a lot less attention to Sutton. This lack of attention might also be amplified by the team drafting Marvin Mims Jr in the 2023 NFL Draft and with some of the offseason buzz surrounding Greg Dulcich as a year two breakout candidate.
Here's part of what Bleacher Report had to say about a potential trade, and the partner in this hypothetical deal is the New England Patriots:
"According to 9News' Mike Klis, the Broncos wanted a second-round pick for Sutton. Because the New England Patriots missed out on DeAndre Hopkins, they may be willing to pay a high price for another starting-caliber receiver.- Maurice Moton
Moreover, the Patriots may have concerns about wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster, who, according to NFL Network's Mike Giardi, wasn't 100 percent at mandatory minicamp because of a lingering knee injury from last season.
The Patriots could try to acquire a lead wide receiver in exchange for a second-round pick—a quality addition that would aid third-year quarterback Mac Jones' development."
Sutton would become the best wide receiver on the Patriots' roster, so I don't think the Pats would be making a wrong move by doing this trade. Furthermore, the Pats might be desperate to add to their WR room since they missed out on DeAndre Hopkins.
Maybe Bill Belichick, the GM and head coach, would be willing to send a second-round pick for Courtland Sutton. I, for one, would love to see a return like that, especially if Denver has confidence that some of their other pass catchers can step up.
Courtland Sutton is very good at football and brings a lot to the table, but he is slowly beginning to age and might serve the Broncos better as a trade piece.